A truly paperless flight department is no longer a quixotic dream for business aviation, according to Greg Heine, COO of Bonita Springs, Florida-based Flightdocs (Booth 3735). The software company announced at NBAA 2018 that it has expanded its Enterprise offering to include a complete flight department management program.
“In the last 15 years Flightdocs has been really focused on the maintenance and inventory side of running a flight department, which is essentially one of two major silos within any flight department organization,” Heine told AIN. “The other silo is aircraft scheduling and operations. We have enhanced our software by adding aircraft management modules now, which manage the pilots, approve the passengers, and integrate the flight planning functionality as well. There’s been a lot of interest from our current customers and industry for a modern, cloud-based product that handles that side of things, as well as being a fully integrated maintenance management product. So essentially what we are previewing here at the show is an end-to-end solution for a complete flight department management program that is mobile, nimble and cloud-based,” he said.
Being completely paperless, as many of Flightdoc’s Enterprise level customers are today, means that pilots can snap pictures of maintenance issues and transmit them directly to the maintenance department, which is simultaneously downloading any data the aircraft itself might be streaming. A squawk can be documented, troubleshot, parts ordered, and shipped to the aircraft (sometimes with the technicians who can make the repairs) all before the aircraft lands at its destination. With additional operations functionality the program is even more powerful, according to Heine.
At its booth in the Orange County Exhibition Center this week Heine and other company executives are live-casting demonstrations of a fully functional product for show attendees.
The company also announced recently that it has partnered with the HondaJet Owners & Pilots Association (HJOPA) to offer discounted services to members. The annual cost for its Enterprise service will be significantly less than for a competitive system that is also offered to HJOPA members, with no enrollment fee.
“We are pleased to offer our members a proven, more cost-effective option like Flightdocs Enterprise,” said HJOPA cofounder Mark Leavitt. “Their interface is state-of-the-art, user-friendly, and they have a great reputation for outstanding customer service. This is an excellent value and an important new option for our members.”
HJOPA is not the only association or group partnered with Flightdocs, according to Heine. “We also have an affiliation with Boeing’s business jet division, where they recommend our software to their owners,” he said. “Often our software is more sophisticated and capable than OEM systems for providing owners more usable data about their flight departments. OEM software, for instance, may not integrate properly with other platforms, or may not offer specific tools that are critical for solving flight department problems as they arise,” he continued.
With the new program coming online,Flightdocs has expanded its Bonita Springs, Florida offices, opening a 6,200-sq-ft technology center and hiring dozens of tech-based workers, from programmers to software developers to sales and support staff to its roster.