Demand for Pilots Puts Pressure on Flight School Resources
By now you have probably read the mass amounts of buzz around the shortage of pilots for airlines and general aviation. With a fewer number of career pilots coming from our military, the mass amount of pilots retiring combined with the increased popularity in consumer travel has caused growing pains for most flight schools. This not only pertains to Career Pilot Training Centers and Part 141, but Part 61 programs as well. With heavy recruitment incentives by the airlines, the entire general aviation industry is in a crunch adjusting to the high demand for pilots.
At Flight Schedule Pro, we have the unique advantage of talking to some of the top flight schools in the U.S. every day about making their operations more efficient and prepared to handle this growth and demand for training new pilots. Here are the top 3 ways flight schools are maximizing efficiency when it comes to resources.
1) Hiring Fast Thinkers Will Help
Yes, of course, instructors largely have the instincts to be calm and make crucial decisions when flying. But what about decision-making with students and staff? Instructors who can answer their own questions, be resourceful with quick responses to students, and know how to work within and around regulations, will serve you well and keep you and your team more focused on your tasks. Plus, these people give a sense of confidence to those around them, leaving a great training experience for your students.
As we have continued to improve the features in Flight Schedule Pro, we design product around these resourceful team members. For instance, it was important to take as much paper out of filing cabinets and folders—which an office admin would need to find for you (and may take a while to locate)—and instead store necessary, easy-to-find data online. Anyone in the organization can get needed info about aircraft, instructors, and students within the software. So, when you hire resourceful people, they will go there first, won’t interrupt the workflow of others, and will keep on moving.
Plus, iPhone and iPad apps allow them to access information without having to locate an available desktop computer. Hiring resourceful people will massively help your organization’s efficiency because they know where to find what they need.
2) Real-Time Communication Keeps You Flying Efficient
If you have grown a flight school from just a few aircraft and instructors to a fleet with a team of instructors and hundreds of students, then you know that solely relying on verbal communication to spread information is your enemy. You need to embrace efficiency in communication or the ship sinks quickly. With older paper shuffling systems, nothing is accomplished efficiently when it comes to maintenance, student tracking, course scheduling, and more.
Today's flight schools need to have enforceable communication protocols so that little to nothing falls through the cracks. The more that this communication is automated, the better. Automation should include email notifications and alerts on your operating software for maintenance reminders such as routine maintenance or squawks. Email reminders to instructors and students for scheduled flights help maximize flight hours with fewer cancellations. Automated emails regarding course details such as prep work, needed materials, and location will save your staff and instructors from sending one-off emails to each student.
All of the above are just a few of the hundreds of time-saving communication tools, automated emails, and alerts that Flight Schedule Pro has built in to save your team hours and hours of trying to communicate all the moving parts of a flight school. In addition to the time efficiencies, the student has an amazing experience with your school and feels a stronger connection with your instructors.
3) Using a Single Operating System Streamlines Your Organization
For any growing flight school, the organization of aircraft scheduling, dispatch, check-ins, maintenance, student courses, enrollments, course work, flight training scheduling, invoicing/billing, and student balances is a pain. And these are just a few of the pains through which we see customers try to navigate.
Your operating software is your airport hub. Everything should funnel in and out of it properly. It should store all the important information you need, communicate details well, and do it all under one roof. Trying to piece several apps together that ultimately do not communicate with each other often can be as time-consuming as going back to the traditional paper systems that flight schools used previously.
So, when it comes to efficiency, a good operating system eliminates the needs of several positions in your organization, saves hours of administrative work each day, and helps you track details for your Part 61/141 program. Combine that with hiring the right people and keeping communication high, and you will be extremely effective at training students and meeting today and tomorrow’s demand for new pilots.
If you would like to learn more about Flight Schedule Pro and how it can help your organization operate more efficiently, please schedule a Demo here.
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