Volume 35 | Thursday, September 9th, 2021
An Introduction to Flight Operations
Welcome back to Jump Seat. This week, we wanted to introduce you to the ARINCDirect Flight Operations call center and staff. This team consists of Flight Coordinators (or FCs), Operations Specialists, and leaders that work together to simplify your experience.
In Spring 2003, ARINCDirect Flight Operations went live in Annapolis, Maryland staffed by eight individuals providing services for a single aircraft often flying only a few times per week. From that moment on, the operation grew and has continuously been staffed by dedicated Flight Coordinators that support flight planning needs. In July 2021, ARINCDirect set an internal business record by filing 91,000 domestic and international flight plans. On a typical day, 3000 flight plans are filed with many of those filings handled directly by a Flight Coordinator. As such, the team consists of close to 50 individuals.

Flight Coordinators support all first-tier requests including filing flight plans, providing weather information and technical support, passing along air to ground messages, documenting feedback, amending and validating flight plans with ATC, and issuing proactive alerts. They also specialize in the validation of complex domestic U.S. and international routes, including those that require AIP preferred routing. All members go through introductory and recurrent training on operations throughout the world. 

Perhaps one of the most important services provided is delay mitigation. ARINCDirect has established relationships with ATC installations domestically and globally to help with Expected Departure Clearance Time (EDCT) and Calculated Take-Off Time (CTOT) delay relief. Flight Coordinators maintain close contact with NBAA, FAA, ATC, Eurocontrol, and many other controlling agencies around the globe. This results in the capability to significantly reduce delays incurred by subscribers. As such, the tempo on shift depends on the conditions in the domestic U.S. and global airspace. If there are active air traffic control initiatives or adverse weather conditions, a spike in inbound call volume for support is typical. 

Most members of the operation are FAA-licensed Part 121 Flight Dispatchers. The staff also includes pilots, degreed meteorologists, former airline dispatchers or air traffic controllers, military personnel, and new college graduates from an aviation program. They are supported by international members of ARINCDirect that are positioned to assist customers regionally.
Meet Janelle Lepisto, a Flight Coordinator with 9 years of experience at ARINCDirect
Janelle is a Duluth, Minnesota native, who fell in love with aviation after attending her first airshow as a teenager. She attended Embry Riddle Aeronautical University where she graduated with her degree in Aeronautics and received her private pilot license with single-engine and multi-engine ratings. Following college, Janelle earned her dispatch license and accepted a position at ARINCDirect in Annapolis, Maryland. While at ARINCDirect, she pursued further education in computer science graduating with a Master’s degree in Information and Communications Technology. 
In August 2019, the team moved across the Collins Aerospace campus to a state-of-the-art Operations Center. It is here where flight planning calls and emails are provided first-tier support by the Flight Coordinators. While the global pandemic necessitated a transition to remote working, the team was quick to adjust to the new normal. Whether working in the office, from home, or hybrid, the focus of the teams remains on providing customers with the dedicated support they are accustomed to. 
Figure 1: The Operations Center circa 2003.
Figure 2: The Operations Center today.
As soon as visitors are allowed, the Operations team invites you to visit and tour the office in Annapolis, Maryland. This is a great opportunity to meet and greet the Flight Coordinators who support your flights. In the meantime, you can contact the 24x7 team at +1 410-266-2266 or flightops@arinc.com.
Did you know?
  • While numerous Flight Coordinators have served more than 10 to 15 years in Operations, many take their core knowledge of the system and our customer base to branch out into other roles and departments within ARINCDirect including Activations, Engineering, Marketing, Management, Training, Sales, and more.

  • Flight Coordinators come from various universities, programs, and military branches including:
Useful Links:
Thank you for reading!