Located at Lelystad Airport in Flevoland, Wings over Holland is one of the most experienced and ambitious General Aviation flight schools in the Netherlands. To offer its students and rental customers a safe and smooth flying experience, Wings over Holland recently implemented the Aviatize digital planning platform.
Flying a state-of-the-art Diamond aircraft, learning stunt flying, or keeping your own aircraft in top condition with the help of a dedicated technical team, it’s all possible with Wings over Holland. The aviation school has more than 30 years of experience in flight training for PPL, CPL, Frozen ATPL, FI and many more licenses. As such, Wings over Holland considers itself to be the knowledge center for general aviation.
In terms of safety and compliance, few industries are probably so regulated as the aviation industry. Authorities need to be able to track and monitor meticulously how flight training is organized and how safety is guaranteed during all organized flights. Also, aviation law mandates that student data needs to be available and accessible for up to five years after the completion of a training.
Until recently, Wings over Holland managed its entire student and rental administration on paper. For example, student syllabi were physical, paper documents that were stored in a fire-proof cabinet. During an audit by the Dutch inspection agency, this preservation method was deemed unreliable, since the safety of these documents could not be guaranteed.
The team at Wings over Holland realized that a digital solution was the answer. With a digital platform, the organization wanted to be able to access student files from anywhere and at the same time guarantee availability and accessibility to student data for the Dutch authorities.
Marc Berkenbosch, flight instructor at Wings over Holland is also the company’s safety manager, and responsible for everything related to compliance. “Managing safety and compliance means you have to register everything you do,” says Marc. “To manage this, we had experimented before with a cloud-based platform for training flight and rental planning. This worked fine, although we were still limited with this solution. To name but one thing, we could not integrate the content of our student syllabi into the system, and the entire administrative part proved to be cumbersome and complicated.”
In practice, the Wings over Holland team was running and maintaining two different digital systems, one for flight planning and another one for the required flight training administration. This was quite impractical, in terms of cost and workload.
“When we learned about the Aviatize platform in 2022, we quickly saw that our problem could be solved,” says Marc Berkenbosch. “With Aviatize, we could fully integrate our syllabi into the system and configure it exactly according to our needs.”
Today, a diverse team of 17 (flight instructors, maintenance personnel, operations and administration staff) are working with the Aviatize platform on a daily basis. About 150 students are using the platform too to plan their flights or follow up on their courses.
With the integration of the digital syllabi into the Aviatize platform, Wings over Holland is well on its way to reach a completely digital, paperless office. Students and instructors can now monitor their training status and planning online. The operations team can reserve an aircraft and book an instructor in time, and both students and instructors can better prepare for their next training session. Trainers can access the platform through a tablet, and when the training session is over, the student and trainer can sit together to assess the latest session and go over a digital checklist. It’s all easy and intuitive.
Wings over Holland can now guarantee 24/7 availability and traceability of its student data to the authorities. Every element of the training is immediately registered and stored in the cloud. Instructors too can monitor the progress of their students much easier through the Aviatize platform.
For aircraft rentals, planning an aircraft has become much smoother and efficient, for both the customer and Wings over Holland staff. “Booking an aircraft used to take a bit of emailing and calling back and forth,” says Marc. “Today, customers can immediately check our digital timeline for available aircraft. This makes it easier and faster to come to the right booking.”
Today, Wings over Holland may not have achieved a fully paperless office yet, but it has definitely become a more efficient office. “The fact that we have all our data available at all times is invaluable and it offers us peace of mind,” says Marc. “Not only can we guarantee full compliance, but our team is also much more efficient in handling administrative tasks. Since many of these tasks can be automated, we have been able to reduce our work load significantly.”
The team at Wings over Holland specifically appreciated that Aviatize is highly configurable and can be perfectly adapted to the company’s needs and preferences. “We can change the look and feel, add our own syllabus content, and introduce our own grading system, and you don’t even have to be an IT professional to set it all up,” says Marc. “We were able to transfer our paper syllabus to a digital version for 99.9%. It matches the way our instructors used to work on paper. In contrast to many WYSIWYG solutions in the market, we don’t have to adapt our business to our system. Instead, we can adapt Aviatize to our business.”