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Pencilling in Savannah

Schedulers & Dispatchers conference to confront emerging concerns


October 1, 2007
By Rob Seaman

Topics

213-pencilTHE 15TH ANNUAL NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference (S&D)
will be held January 12 -14 at the Savannah International Trade &
Convention Center in Savannah, Georgia. This conference has grown to
become a key gathering for the folks who provide support to the various
flight activities of business aviation. The real focus of S&D is to
provide the most up-to-date information on issues directly related to
the role of the scheduler and dispatcher. Although much smaller than
the big fall show put on the NBAA, this event is targeted to a very
select audience. In many cases people who do not attend the big
convention do go to this event because of the networking and learning
opportunities.

“Know
Before You Go” has never been so important to corporate flight
operations as it is now. Things in the world change fast – security,
customer trip plans, no-fly zones, weather, fuel pricing and hotel
rooms. All these elements individually and collectively collaborate to
make the job of someone tasked with looking after the planning and
support of a corporate flight just that much more challenging. The
S&D conference enables the people from the flight office the rare
opportunity to get out and meet the faces on the other end of the phone
as well as learn first-hand who is there to help them keep their
passengers and crews moving.

Security will be one of the very
big issues being discussed, reviewed and supported in many ways at this
convention. Firms from all walks of the aviation and security industry
will be at the S&D this year, all focused on protecting a
business’s most important asset – its human capital!

The other
big issue for the 2004 edition of the S&D be technology. Remote
access to flight crew and passengers alike creates demands on the
flight support role – and the information must be correct and
up-to-date. Whether flight planning is handled in house or through a
third party in this rapidly growing field, the technology support
behind keeping the information current and available is undergoing some
great changes and evolution. And as more people turn to business
charter and corporate aviation, the demand and market grows. On line
and on demand are key phrases to watch for – from PDAs to tablets to
fullblown desk-top applications and remote high-speed access – the
S&D conference is the best place to evaluate and understand who is
offering what.

The key to any of the technology products and
services being offered is ‘customized or personalized’ – user-focused
with the ability for each flight department to make the software and
hardware work in the way best suited to its unique environment. The
early offerings in this area were a flop because they tried to force
the customer to do things the way the product designer wanted them to –
and that meant a big learning curve. The new products offer user
options and customization galore. One of the other benefits of the
technology now being offered is that it allows flight departments to
pick and choose how much information is made available to passengers
online.