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Student creates company for first jobStudent creates company for first job

A Washington, D.C, area student has created his own computerized refueling system to handle paperwork more efficiently, safely, and less expensively, and FBOs are listening.

Lots of kids are graduating from school at this time of year, but how many needing a job create their own company and earn their own startup money? John Hill, 21, hasn’t quite graduated yet from George Mason University—that’s a week off—but he has found a high-tech way to handle the paperwork for aircraft refueling while preventing mistakes, and fixed-base operators (FBO) are listening.

Hill worked at a Leesburg, Virginia, FBO during school, and savings from that time are helping him start EasyFBO LLC, a new approach to aircraft fueling orders. Not surprisingly, his first beta test site is Leesburg. By the end of 2016 he plans to have 10 beta test sites lined up; two more start June 1. The cost for beta customers is a $2,000 startup fee that covers electronic tablets, and $500 a month thereafter. In 2017 he will be operational. It was developed in conjunction with a friend since seventh grade, now at Embry Riddle University.

His idea for the company was so good that he won the Dean’s Business Plan competition at George Mason in April that brought with it an $11,000 award. That money will be used to grow the company. He perfected the idea over past years by attending the National Business Aviation Association convention and asking FBOs and pilots how they would like to streamline the fueling paperwork process. He'll attend the convention again this year.

Today’s system comes with delays, as pilots can attest. You phone your order or fill out the paperwork at the front desk, and the lineman takes the order when he can, writing it down manually. Under the new system the order is entered on an electronic tablet and automatically sent to just the truck carrying the type of fuel needed. The driver doesn’t need to copy the order down during a radio call. In the future, one to three years, pilots will have an app to go with the system allowing them to send the order from their phone and receive the receipt by email. This month the EasyFBO workflow management system went live at ProJet Aviation's FBO in Leesburg, Virginia. The web-based software takes the traditional paper and radio process of managing fuel order requests and goes completely electronic for a more efficient, safe process.

The system is already drawing rave reviews from Projet Aviation officials who said it was simple for existing employees to learn.

Alton Marsh

Alton K. Marsh

Freelance journalist
Alton K. Marsh is a former senior editor of AOPA Pilot and is now a freelance journalist specializing in aviation topics.
Topics: National Business Aviation Association, Technology

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