How we started with aviation software

How we started with aviation software

Today, laying on the beach after the work and looking into the sky I saw a beautiful sunset-highlighted contrail (an aircraft trail). There were a lot of trails and few flights passing above me.
No wonder why so many flights are here: Tivat airport is just 50 km away and it’s high season. The flight schedule is quite busy these days.

Laying on the beach and looking up into the sky I was thinking: maybe up there is a pilot who used my software recently to get a delay notification or update his or her licenses.

This is very inspiring and to be honest, not a common thing in the web developer’s life – watching the planes and thinking about the great job you did to help pilots, cabin crew, trainers and managers to do their job.

I started working with airlines in 2014, it was complex yet thrilling.
Besides coding style, system architecture and other web-related things it also requires an understanding of the industry and daily processes.

First thing I’ve built for aviation was a secure license management system.
Imagine having over 3500 crew members on international flights, each crew member must have valid flight licences, visas and a number of other documents.
Management need to keep an eye on these documents, but it’s not an easy thing to monitor documents for 3.5k+ people.

Within a couple months I’ve built license management system. It was big relief for managers who responsible for licensing.

Even though this system was built many years before GDPR, it must be secure.
Files stored on secure cloud server, only a few authorized managers can access crew documents.
Crew members have access only to their documents to prevent information leaks.

The most challenging part was not the application, security or architecture.
The most challenging part was integration with existing users’ database.

After 3 months the system was ready for closed beta-tests.
We received positive feedback from management and after some short beta-test period system go live.

Quick overview of system features:

  • crew create a document and fill all required fields (depends on the document type)
  • after document created manager gets notification
  • manager perform document review and approve (if everything OK) or reject upload (if user have not provided all data)
  • since system integrated with crew members database – manager can easily contact user
  • approved document will be monitored by the system for expiration
  • documents which are about to expiry get highlighted
  • both manager and crew will receive multiple email notification about expiring documents

Since launch in winter 2014, the system successfully serves users and managers.
At the moment license management system has a little bit over 2000 active users.

My first experience with aviation has shown me how interesting this industry is.
And now, after 5 years it is still interesting. We have created 4 brand-new applications, implemented new procedures and now cooperate with 4 different airlines.

Each airline and each case is unique, each task requires knowledge, experience and skills, but we keep going, working hard and making other’s work a little less so.