Flying to Minneapolis for the Big Game? Honeywell Can Help with That.
Flying to Minneapolis for the Big Game? Honeywell can help with that.
This year, all eyes will be on my hometown of Minneapolis as it hosts the biggest football game of the year. People come from all over to enjoy the festivities before, during and after the game, and most of them come into town the same way: on an airplane. Aside from commercial flights, several fans and spectators will also fly privately on business jets; especially the many VIPs who always attends large events like this.
With record traffic expected at the city’s regional airports between Jan. 31 and Feb. 5, navigating the complex airspace and avoiding delays won’t be easy. Developed with the business aviation pilot in mind, Honeywell’s GoDirect Flight Sentinel service can help flights arrive and depart smoothly and becomes especially useful during high-traffic times like these.
What is Flight Sentinel? Think of it like this: it’s a concierge service for business aviation pilots to help make their lives easier when planning flights and transporting busy or important passengers. Using route management techniques, flight control specialists find the least congested routes to and from a destination city to reduce delays and save fuel. While an aircraft is en route, they monitor its position and flight progress, looking ahead for weather hazards, traffic congestion, ground delays or any other conditions that could affect a flight.
Sitting in a command center on the second floor of our Honeywell facility in Phoenix, the team communicates with the FAA hourly for real-time updates and tactical route selection to avoid disruptions and constant monitoring. Using Flight Sentinel for early detection of air traffic control messages gives operators more choices and flexibility to get flights in and out of Minneapolis on time. I had the chance to visit the team and ask them what makes Flight Sentinel so valuable to our customers.
“It’s very similar to aircraft dispatching, just at a very personalized level,” said Diana Nakelski, duty manager for GoDirect Flight Sentinel. “One size does not fit all. We are very flexible to our customers’ needs.”
It just takes a 20- to 30-second phone call to Flight Sentinel to initiate a trip. Every need is taken care of, because Flight Sentinel already has a customer’s preferences on file, such as preferred altitude, fuel information, and passenger information, like passports.
In addition to transporting passengers and flying the plane, business aviation pilots often have additional responsibilities that commercial pilots don’t need to think about. This can include coordinating catering services, hotels and ground transportation. Flight Sentinel helps to take some of the workload off so these pilots can focus on their passengers.
“The customer service is really what sets us apart from our competitors in this space, hands down,” said Matt Hand, operations manager for GoDirect Flight Sentinel. “We’re more than just a dispatch service. We are a concierge service that is available to our customers 24/7.”
And if there is a last-minute change of plans, Flight Sentinel can cancel the old flight plans and quickly submit new versions.
Specialists keep flight departments and crew informed with proactive communications sent to mobile devices, aircraft datalinks and other contacts. Relying on state-of-the-art techniques, collaborative decision-making tools and extensive experience, the Flight Sentinel team monitors airspace and air traffic control initiatives to ensure on-time departures.
“Typically with similar services, when they pick up the phone, they ask for your employee ID. Here, we know our customers by name,” Hand said. “There’s nothing better than hearing someone on the other end of the phone who knows your first name.”