Eye in the Sky: Tracking Flights in Transit

Eye in the Sky: Tracking Flights in Transit

The Flight Operations Center (FOC) at PlaneSense, Inc. is a twenty-four hour operation that is responsible for keeping track of the company’s fleet of thirty plus aircraft. With an operating area stretching from the East Coast to the Mississippi River and beyond, accurate flight tracking is an expansive task. In order to provide the best customer service to our shareowners, knowing exactly where all of our aircraft and resources are located in the sky as well as their final destination is imperative to maintaining sound operations.

At any given time, there are several Flight Managers in the FOC responsible for tracking flights throughout the day. There are several systems set in place that provide Flight Managers with visual, textual, and analytical representations of where their aircraft are located at any given moment. This enables a Flight Manager to give a timely answer to an owner or representative about the status of their flight. Precise flight tracking enables the FOC to fulfill our shareowner's expectations for their flights.

PlaneSense, Inc. has an excellent track record for on-time departures and meeting our clients’ last minute requests when the flight schedule allows. Some factors however, may impact flights, including: weather delays, air-traffic control delays, and aircraft maintenance issues. Each employee in the FOC is trained to recognize these issues as soon as they arise and is able to provide an owner or authorized representative with alternate courses of action if necessary to help minimize the impact.

Flight Managers begin evaluating all of these variables twenty-four hours before each flight's scheduled departure. This includes determining the airworthiness of the assigned aircraft, checking aviation forecasts for the entire route of flight, reviewing historical air-traffic data to anticipate delays, and corresponding with passengers to ensure that all of their requests are prepared for. If there are any weather concerns, a Flight Manager will contact the passengers the night before to offer options that may reduce or eliminate issues that could affect a scheduled departure.

Keeping track of all of these resources in such a complex and dynamic field requires a thorough understanding of aviation operations and excellent situational awareness. As many Flight Managers are either pilots themselves or have several years of aviation experience, they are able to interpret time-critical information quickly and offer reasonable solutions. It is the FOC personnel's primary objective to meet and exceed the shareowner's expectations and provide them with a quality air-travel experience.

Note: This article is displaying as it appeared in Volume 12 of our PlaneSense: Informational Quarterly newsletter.
Photo courtesy of iStockPhoto

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