Alerts service keeps pilots in the loop

 - October 7, 2008, 2:05 PM

Ground transportation firm Fortis Riders (Booth No. 4693) earlier this year launched a real-time FBO notification system, in which pilots are notified when a passenger is en route to the airport.

“Pilots get the brunt of passenger angst,” said Fortis president and CEO Nathan Foy, explaining that the system allows pilots to begin preflight inspections and preparations in time for the passenger’s arrival. “Anything that can make the passenger happy makes the pilot look like a hero.”

The company also has an executive real-time e-mail notification system, in which executive assistants are notified of the executives’ progress. “We’ll send an assistant a message when the CEO is in the vehicle or when the CEO has arrived at his or her destination,” Foy said.

Foy said clients love the system. “We are advised when the vehicles are in position, when our passengers are in the car and when they have arrived at their destination–it’s like flight-following on the ground,” said one JetDirect employee.

Fortis Riders does not own any vehicles. Instead, the company works with a network of affiliate transportation companies and chauffeurs in 500 cities throughout the U.S. The company uses a 17-point checklist to verify the drivers and companies. The list includes checks on insurance, vehicle year and other basic necessities. Fortis employees also take regular “mystery rides” and hire investigators to ensure the company contracts with quality companies.

Fortis works with a number of aviation companies, including ACM Aviation, JetDirect and NetJets.