What is the most important decision you can make when owning your own private airplane?
If you own your own aircraft, or you are thinking of purchasing one; easily one of the most important decisions you will make is choosing a management company. While much thought, research and testing go into deciding which airplane to buy, knowing you have the right company managing your equipment and your purchase can make all the difference in the world.
Three key steps to finding an aircraft management company
- Cost. Understanding the risks and ramifications of owning your own airplane are important. Once you conclude that it does make sense for you, understanding all the costs associated with your purchase is important. While the upfront costs are obvious, the long-term costs cannot be understated. A quality management company will be able to provide you with accurate initial costs as well as forecasts for future costs tailored to the specific type of aircraft being managed.
- Capabilities. Qualify aircraft management companies based on your specific desires. Ensure that your needs and wants are going to be met with whatever aircraft management company you select. Are you interested in placing your aircraft on a charter certificate? Do you wish to conduct your maintenance locally verses at an out of town shop? It’s important to understand the capabilities of the management company and what specific needs you, and the aircraft of your choice, will necessitate.
- Experience. Find an aircraft management company that has been in the aviation business for a long time. Make sure that the key positions are filled with staff that have experience and good safety records. It’s also important to be sure that the aircraft management company you are hiring specializes in the type of airplane you have or plan to purchase.
Show me the money
It’s true that management companies typically charge a monthly management fee for their services. Other examples of monthly fees you could see are for flight crews, hangar, insurance, and training. The true cost benefits of entering into a management agreement with a reputable company are seen in lower than retail costs of fuel, training, insurance, and hangar. Then, further savings are possible with access to charter revenue and local maintenance sources.
What you will likely discover in your endeavors to hire an aircraft management company are that there’s no “one size fits all” operation. Your aircraft is your investment, you need to make sure you are getting the best “bang for your buck” but also that you are comfortable and feel like you are being heard and cared for.