June 23, 2006
The Lockheed Martin AFSS Pilot Information Portal is open to all pilots. It provides each FSS location, along with the station's manager and telephone number.
If you prefer to submit your service feedback online, you must register. Simply provide your name, e-mail address, and a password. Your e-mail address is required so that Lockheed can follow up with you to let you know when the problem should be resolved. Your name, e-mail address, and password will not be shared with anyone.
Lockheed then will send you a confirmation e-mail that allows you to gain access to the feedback portion of the site.
Once you sign in, you are directed to a feedback form that allows you to submit a compliment, comment, or complaint.
You can indicate which service you are commenting about: preflight, in flight, filing a flight plan, a broadcast, notam, en route flight advisory service, or other.
There also is a place to select the date and time the situation occurred and a space for you to elaborate on the complaint or praise.
Are you put on hold for several minutes when you call 800/WX-BRIEF? You shouldn't be. Are you getting detailed security and weather briefings when you call? You should be.
That's part of Lockheed Martin's promise to pilots while it is modernizing the FSS system, which it took over from the FAA on October 4 last year. If they aren't, you now have a way to report service difficulties to Lockheed Martin ï¿½ through its new Web site. The site provides pilots with a means to report any difficulties they experience with flight service, along with updates on the progress of the modernization, known as FS21, and information for flight planning.
"From the beginning, AOPA demanded performance standards to hold Lockheed Martin accountable for the commitments they made to serve pilots," said Melissa Rudinger, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. "We want to make sure the modernization is done right, and this Web site allows pilots to report what services are and aren't working for them."
What customer service standards did Lockheed agree to?
The FAA didn't have performance standards, but Lockheed has set the bar for high-quality services.
They must live up to those standards whether it is a busy, clear summer day or a slow, dreary day in the winter. And if Lockheed doesn't live up to those standards, they will face financial consequences.
"If your telephone or radio call isn't answered promptly, I would be registering a complaint through their Web site," said Rudinger. "If pilots report when and where they have service problems, Lockheed will be able to address and correct those issues."
The modernization of FSS is expected to save taxpayers $1.7 billion over the next 10 years. The FAA initially estimated that FSS modernization would save taxpayers $2.2 billion over 10 years, but the agency later revised that cost savings estimate down to $1.7 billion.
June 23, 2006
FAA Procedures and Services,
Pilot Safety and Skills,
Pilot Skip Gibbs regularly uses his Bonanza A36 to bring medical volunteers and supplies to remote areas of Mexico. Just before sunset, Gibbs was flying to the historic city of El Fuerte in the state of Sinaloa where LIGA International Flying Doctors of Mercy has been doing good works since 1934.
The GACE Flying Club, which grew from a club for Grumman employees, prides itself on offering members low-cost, safe flying and social events.
Proper use of aircraft lighting systems promotes safety and satisfies regulatory requirements. Are you up to speed?