Consulting firm Flight Department Solutions (FDS) has launched a new venture to help aircraft owners start their own flight departments. Called Flight Department Advantage, the new program can set up a flight department and assist with all aspects of running it.
“Historically for somebody getting a new airplane, the path of least resistance is to have it managed,” said Dave Weil, founder and CEO of San Francisco-based FDS. “We want to make it easier for them to have their own flight department.”
FDS aims to partner with chief pilots who typically try to run the department while still continuing to fly the aircraft. “A few rare individuals can do it all,” he said, “but it’s hard to do it all well. We want to be the ally of the lead pilot and have him view us a resource so he can focus on flying the airplane.”
FDS charges an up-front setup fee and then, if the owner wants to continue using FDS, ongoing fees. FDS is also working with aircraft brokers, dealers, lenders, insurers and lawyers. “If we can make having your own flight department easier and simpler and cost effective, then more people will do it. That’s our goal,” Weil added.