Standing Committees

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Is In-House International Trip Planning the Right Answer?

October 15, 2012

NBAA Flight Plan interview with Jo Damato, NBAA liaison to the committee.

The NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers (S&D) Committee will present an education session called “In-House International Trip Planning: Is It the Right Answer?” on the first day of the NBAA 65th Annual Meeting & Convention (NBAA2012) in Orlando, FL. The session, which will be held Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 2 p.m., will examine whether international trip planning is best handled in-house or by third-party experts.

NBAA S&D Committee staff liaison Jo Damato is quick to point out that the Association neither advocates nor opposes one option or the other for any of its Members. “But we want schedulers and dispatchers to look at both sides and make sure they’re doing something that’s right for them and their flight department,” she added.

It is a topic that has been the subject of repeated conversations among NBAA Members on Air Mail and within S&D Committee meetings, she said. In many cases, it is an issue that she believes boils down to economics.

“You save third-party costs by bringing things in-house. But what is that workload like if you do decide to bring it in-house?” asked Damato. “Is there a true cost savings involved? Is there risk involved if you don’t have that third-party support? Do you have that operational knowledge in house? How do you get it so that you are just as savvy as if you were using a third-party support organization?” Those are the questions the S&D Committee hopes to answer in the upcoming session.

The dilemma over whether to take international travel planning in-house is just one issue facing schedulers and dispatchers as they prepare for NBAA2012 and beyond. The 2013 S&D Conference will take place in San Antonio, TX, from Jan. 22 to 25. While many schedulers and dispatchers will continue to assess the risks involved in international travel, others will be looking at the much larger risk-management picture, said Damato.

Risk-assessment issues to be covered at the S&D Conference include safety management systems, flight planning, aircraft performance, hazmat procedures, crew scheduling and crew legality, and much more.

“It all feeds into a good team atmosphere and everyone being part of the risk management equation,” Damato said.