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There are a variety of factors to consider when determining the number of pilots required for a company’s flight operation. As each operation is unique, it is important for companies to review the following factors when making decisions about staffing levels:
- Number of aircraft being utilized.
- Company flight time and rest considerations.
- The number of hours flown per year.
- The number of concurrent trips made by the business.
- The number of trips that require the pilot to fly for several consecutive days.
- The number of overnight trips (RONs) required.
- The number of night flights required.
- The number of trips with augmented crew required.
- The number of trips requiring pre-positioning of a flightcrew.
- The company’s vacation policy.
- The company’s training policy.
The NBAA Management Guide (Section 1.7) has sample formulas that companies can utilize to determine the number of pilots they might need. The first formula looks at the number of days a pilot is needed, while the second bases the calculation on estimated flight hours per year.
The maintenance department should employ a minimum number of personnel responsible for minor inspections, record keeping, and scheduling and supervising maintenance with a commercial agency. The following factors should serve as general guidelines for determining the size and makeup of the maintenance department:
- The type and number of aircraft utilized by the business.
- The company’s home-base location.
- The flight-route structure for a company’s typical mission.
- The company’s aircraft utilization rate, as measured by hours flown.
- The company’s proximity to aircraft overhaul and repair facilities.
- Supply points for spares
The NBAA Management Guide provides a formula that can be used to determine the number of maintenance personnel required. The formula can be modified based on the specific characteristics of the flight operation.