As human beings, we inevitably make mistakes. No matter how careful someone is, no one can guarantee they won’t forget something important. But careless mistakes can sometimes cost lives; nowhere is this more true than in aviation.
Airplanes are quite a lot safer than cars – that is, plane crashes occur much less frequently than car crashes. However, when plane crashes occur, it’s much less common for anybody to survive. Planes are so big, go so fast, and fly so high above the ground, that if they crash, people will die.
That’s why the right flight planning software is so important. A good software solution can largely eliminate human error from the equation.
AIR SUPPORT is a Danish aviation software company headquartered at Billund Airport and has branches in Singapore, France, and the USA. Established in 1989, the company currently provides more than 500 operators worldwide with top-quality flight planning software and flight tracking software. Their software packages include the PPS Flight Planning System, the CrewBriefing App, OpsControl Flight Watch, and Weather Watch.
Modern Flight Planning Technology
In the not-so-distant past, the calculations involved in the flight planning process were conducted manually. The process was very time-consuming and there were many points at which errors could creep in. Even if the process was free of errors, it took so long that there was a good chance condition could have changed before the calculations could be completed.
Flight planning and other aircraft
Safety is by far the most important consideration in the planning process. One could say that the point of flight planning is to devise a recipe for the safest way to complete a particular flight, on a particular day, for a particular aircraft.
With airspace humming with aircrafts at all times of the day and night, it is essential that each one files a flight plan that keeps it out of the way of another aircraft – and the pilot must stick strictly to this flight plan.
Flight planning and fuel
Closely following a careful flight plan also allows pilots to calculate exactly how much fuel they need. Aircraft must have plenty of fuel to allow them to reach their destination safely, even if something unexpected happens – but they must avoid carrying too much more fuel than they need, because carrying unnecessary weight will consume more fuel, and cut into profits.
If an aircraft suddenly needs to go higher or lower than anticipated to avoid extreme weather, this will use more fuel than expected. If another flight has been delayed, an aircraft sometimes has to circle the runway for quite a while before being cleared to land – which also uses extra fuel. Wind is a big factor, because when an aircraft has a tail wind, it goes faster, and uses less fuel. On the other hand, when the plane is flying into the wind, the same trip can take a lot longer, using more fuel.
Of course, nobody can ever predict the weather with complete accuracy, but the best flight planning software can keep the pilot up-to-date with the latest weather conditions.
Commercial airliners are all about making money. Every airline is motivated to save money and cut costs wherever they can. But being stingy regarding flight planning software can be a false economy. You think you’re saving money, but having poor quality flight planning will cost you in the end! Much better to choose a reliable flight planning system, such as the PPS.