Buying an airplane can be a good investment for a business or a frequent traveler. However, there are special responsibilities associated with ownership that are unlike those of any other vehicle. There are also federal rules and regulations governing the circumstances under which a business can use its plane for travel. An aircraft management company can help owners navigate these rules as well as operate the plane in a safe manner.
Convenience is one of the major benefits of employing an aircraft management service. When the owner is ready to take a flight, the company is responsible for handling the arrangements. The business will assemble a crew and ensure that they are ready to fly, including conducting certification and rest checks. It will also handle catering, fueling, ground handling, de-icing, ground crew and hangar needs. Additionally, the enterprise is responsible for managing staff. Pilots, crews and mechanics are on the payroll of the management company. As such, the business handles human resources functions like benefits and training.
Aircraft management services also provide convenience by taking care of a number of administrative functions associated with ownership. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) imposes a number of requirements on owners to ensure that planes are safe. Planes must be inspected regularly and kept in good working order to avoid fines. Furthermore, there are a number of regulations in place regarding how your plane may be used. To complicate matters, there can be tax consequences associated with business flights. A professional service will be well versed in the applicable laws and regulations in order to keep the owner compliant.
Another advantage to hiring an aircraft management service is that these companies can help you offset the cost of ownership. One way in which owners can save money is through charter flights. Chartering the plane while its not in use produces revenue that can be used to reduce operating costs or fees. This arrangement makes ownership more practical for many individuals or businesses. Furthermore, these companies can help owners save money by tracking expenses. The operation can send out a monthly report that details costs for fuel, catering or maintenance and identifies opportunities for savings.
When considering service, pay particular attention to prospective services’ safety records. In fact, safety should be your primary concern. Find out about the company’s FAA violation history, including accidents and incidents. If the business has a history of accidents, make sure to ask how the company responded. Additionally, you should inquire about the role of safety in the company’s day-to-day operations. Ask whether the company has an independent safety officer who reports to the president, the results of any third-party audit and whether a Safety Management System is in place. A safe operation will invest in third-party audit and share the results with potential clients.
Choosing the right aircraft manager is an investment. However, the right company can pay for itself by reducing risks, keeping the plane safe for flight and managing leasing operations on your behalf.