Aircraft safety is a top priority for ATP Flight School, which operates a fleet of over 225 aircraft across 32 locations in the US. Each day over 200 flights depart with aircraft maintenance status and dispatch information provided thru a Lasso-powered system that offers:
- Interactive SMS messaging for aircraft dispatch status and block-out/bock-in.
- iCalendar feed of pilot schedules.
- SMS- and responsive web-based interface for logging maintenance reports.
Using this Lasso-powered system, ATP's centralized flight operations and maintenance offices in Jacksonville, Florida are able to maintain a consistent, real-time view of each aircraft's status and efficiently coordinate training and maintenance schedules nationwide.
Leading up to the day's flights, instructors and students check their schedules using Lasso-powered iCalendar feeds on their mobile devices. Before preflight inspection, the pilot sends an SMS message to ATP's system to check the maintenance status and block-out the aircraft. The system responds with the maintenance status of the aircraft so that the pilot may make a go/no-go decision. The status report includes any minor issues reported on previous flights. Any major issues will cause the aircraft to report an "Assigned to Maintenance" status and prevent flight in that aircraft. If the aircraft is down, the system recommends alternative aircraft based on similar equipment type and schedule availability. After the maintenance report is acknowledged, the aircraft becomes assigned to the pilot and updates real-time status boards in the training center and flight ops. At the completion of the flight, the pilot blocks-in with aircraft times and any maintenance issues discovered on the flight. This information feeds maintenance, training, and dispatch records and acknowledges receipt by SMS.
Simplicity: Lasso allows ATP to operate a system with the ideal front-end interface for each type of user. SMS offers a simple way for pilots to perform a critical preflight function. The simplicity of interactive SMS means that pilots comply with safety procedures with minimal inconvenience. Flight Operations and maintenance staff then have the benefit of Lasso's web application capabilities for a richer front-end management interface. Not only does Lasso excel at web-based apps, it's capable of working easily with REST APIs that allow interactive SMS messaging as a user interface.
Speed: Lasso brings 3 speed benefits to the ATP SMS application. On the technical side, Lasso itself is very fast and does not require complex overhead to accomplish simple tasks. Equally important as raw speed is that Lasso enables us to quickly develop and deploy changes to both the SMS and web apps. Finally, the end-user's perception of speed is enhanced through the different data accesses points provided by Lasso, whether iCal feed, SMS, or web app.
Security: Lasso makes it possible to authenticate each user of the SMS system based on caller ID against a MySQL database. Authenticated users acquire different SMS features based on a set of permissions that varies between Instructor Pilots, Students, Aircraft Mechanics, and Dispatch personnel. Unauthenticated users cannot access the system or submit data. Lasso's session management features enable a secure, interactive session over SMS, which is otherwise a stateless protocol.
"Gone are the days of scribbling a maintenance squawk on the whiteboard and hoping the next pilot sees it – or even more importantly – that maintenance sees it. With real-time maintenance report notifications sent directly to on-site maintenance, aircraft get fixed faster and pilots spend less time waiting" -- John A. (JAX Training Center Manager)
"Without a Lasso system like this, we simply could not manage a fleet of our size. This technology allows ATP to scale its operations with ease and efficiency."