Global Flight Support Services: What is Flight Planning?
“Global Flight Support Services provides a complete outsourced flight operations service for passenger and freight flights worldwide. Global Flight Support is made up of a number of services. ”
Global Flight Support Services provides a complete outsourced flight operations service for passenger and freight flights worldwide. Global Flight Support
is made up of a number of services including (but not limited to) flight planning, landing and over-flight permits, weather & NOTAM briefings, ground handling co-ordination, airport co-ordination, flight monitoring/following and aviation fuel.
What is Flight Planning?
Flight planning involves the production of a flight plan to detail certain aspects of an aircraft flight. A flight plan has two main aspects: fuel calculation, chiefly to ensure that the aircraft reaches its destination (taking into account unforeseen weather changes and possible diversion) and adherence to the air traffic control requirements with regards managing and reducing the risk of a mid-air collision. Both of these aspects are also looked at in relation to the total cost of the flight. A successful flight plan meets the safety requirement at the lowest possible cost to the flight operator.
Producing a Flight Plan
Because compiling a flight plan requires making millions of calculations, flight planning systems are usually computer generated – especially those for commercial flights. An approximate flight plan can be put together by hand but allowing for unforeseen weather changes and possible diversions are far more difficult without the aid of computer based predictions and analysis.
Planning for the Unknown
Flight safety regulations dictate that an aircraft must have more than the minimum amount of fuel needed to cover the entire route from origin to destination. This allows for unforeseen weather changes (an unexpected headwind can drastically increase fuel consumption) or for diversion to another airport should the original landing destination become unavailable/unsuitable. Aircraft flying in controlled airspace must follow certain routes known as airways even if these airways are not as economical as a direct flight. Flight planning
requires accurate weather forecasts so that the fuel consumption of the flight can be calculated as accurately as possible including allowances for any unforeseen changes or developments that may arise.
Other aspects of Flight Planning
Overflight permits – Are required to fly over a country’s airspace. All countries have their own regulations and procedures regarding issuance of over flight permits
Landing Permits – Are required for flights to land in another country and/or flights making technical landings.
Ground Handling Co-Ordination – Involves the co-ordination of passenger, ramp and cargo handling at an airport.
Airport Co-Ordination - Access too many of the world's airports is now regulated by slots for both landing and taking off.
A Flight Support team
A flight support team manages all aspects of a flight plan in progress, keeping a watchful eye on departure, flight and arrival times, weather patterns en-route and available airport slots at the flight destination. A flight support team is generally drawn from key areas of the flight industry to ensure hands on experience in every area of operation.
Air Partner plc is a world-class provider of global flight support
among other services to industry, commerce, governments and individuals worldwide. Air Partner’s Ops24 division supplies a complete outsourced flight planning
and flight monitoring services for passenger and freight flights worldwide. Air Partner is the only company in the aviation industry to hold a Royal Warrant (as Supplier of Aircraft Charter to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II) a globally recognised mark of excellence.
Author - James Green
Tags - flight support services, flight support, flight planning services
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