We have all heard that age is just a number. That is true to some degree for aircraft, but not quite. Aircraft age does matter, especially with private jets and turbo props, and we'll provide you with seven reasons why in this blog as well as guidelines for when an aircraft's age should eliminate it from consideration for air charter awards.
Contracting officers should carefully consider aircraft age when selecting a vendor for their private jet or turboprop. It is a critical metric that can affect safety and reliability. Older aircraft are often not equipped with the same level of safety features as newer models, leaving passengers at increased risk of harm. These outdated aircraft can suffer from several issues that can put passenger lives in danger, including: 1) Outdated avionics systems: Older aircraft typically lack the most modern avionic systems. 2) Older aircraft often do not have the same level of navigation and communication systems as newer models. This can leave pilots without access to real-time weather data, resulting in potentially hazardous flying conditions. 3) Outdated aircraft may not have the necessary parts or components needed to repair them, leading to unreliable maintenance and significant delays in the event of a mechanical malfunction. 4) Lack of modern navigation systems: Older aircraft often lack modern navigation systems which can lead to pilots making errors in their flight path, putting passengers at risk. 5) Reduced structural integrity: Older aircraft may suffer from aging materials and lack of modern composite materials, reducing their structural integrity. This leaves them more susceptible to turbulence and other in-flight disturbances, increasing the risk of an accident. 6) Outdated safety equipment: Older aircraft tend to be lacking in terms of the latest safety features, such as advanced airbags, fire suppression systems, and window coatings that reduce the risk of passenger injuries. This can lead to serious injury or death if an accident were to occur. Also, updated equipment is critically important for air ambulance air charters. 7) Poor maintenance: Without regular maintenance, older aircraft can suffer from a range of problems that put passengers in danger. This includes faulty wiring, worn brakes, and underinflated tires - all of which can lead to an accident. Sometimes older aircraft are kept around because they are less expensive to operate, but that savings can come at a cost.
The safety of passengers is paramount when it comes to air charter, and awarding air charter missions to vendors that offer modern business jets and turboprops can help ensure the safety and security of all those onboard. Newer models offer superior construction and materials that reduce the risk of failure, advanced training tools for pilots, and up-to-date navigation systems that provide an increased level of safety. The next time you send out an air charter RFP make sure to require a maximum year of manufacture of 1995 or newer for private jets, and 1990 for turboprops. While this won't exclude some older model aircraft, it will exclude many that are not suitable.