|Aviation Consumer Editor|
Right up front, we'll say we've heard the same complaints about Lockheed Martin's handling of the Flight Service Station contract as everyone else: Long wait times, dropped calls, lost flight plans and briefers lacking local knowledge of the areas they cover. Lockheed Martin's Dan Courain, the company's VP of aviation services, says he has gotten a similar earful and at AOPA Expo on Thursday, Courain told AVweb that LockMart is doing something about. Specifically, it has rewired the call waiting system to delay bumping of calls from their origination area to other parts of the system, where briefers may be umfamiliar with local landmarks, airspace and conditions.
Further, says Courain, briefers are being given more generalized training on airspace issues such as TFRs and the Washington ADIZ, into which many pilots they brief may fly. What about call delays? Courain acknowledges that the company had early problems with delays but has now reduced average answer times to under two minutes. If pilots have complaints, says Courain, they can call (888) 358-7782. For direct information on the Washington area ADIZ, call (866) 225-7410.
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