Kortrijk Flying Club

Flanders International Airport (EBKT) is located on the windswept plains near Kortrijk in West Flanders, Belgium. Built in 1916 to support the German Luftwaffe during the First World War, the airport today is mainly used as a business airport thanks to a thriving business center on the premises and its prime location in one of Belgium’s key industrial areas. Some 120 aircraft call the airport home here. And on average, over 75,000 passengers use the airport each year.

The Kortrijk Flying Club was established in 1969 as a glider and motor flying club but evolved into a motorized aircraft club with a steady 170 members today. The club has full use of the airport runway of 1,900 m × 45 m (6,234 ft × 148 ft) – a fantastic asset.

where History Meets Tomorrow

“We are among the Top 5 flying clubs in Belgium,” Luc Jacques, President Kortrijk Flying club (KFC) said. “The club currently has six aircraft: three trainers (two Robin DR400 aircraft, a Diamond DA20) and three travel aircraft (one Diamond DA40, a Cessna 172 and a Grumman AA5).”

The aeroclub prides itself in its safety record and well-documented maintenance record. “We don’t compromise on safety and maintenance. Maintenance is done by Gill Aviation, a certified CAMO organisation,” Luc Jacques said.

Kortrijk Flying Club’s mission is to offer an opportunity to fly to everyone with a passion for aviation. “Our club is a community of aviators – people with a deep love for flying,” Luc Jacques said. “The amount of flying most of our members can accomplish each year is limited by their financial means. Democratic but realistic rental prices for our planes is hereby an important aspect of managing our club.”

COVID saw membership numbers temporarily drop slightly but the aeroclub is now back to its normal strength, testament to the policy of keeping costs down and flying up.

Kortrijk Flying Club, like the majority of aeroclubs, is a not-forprofit organization as no staff and depends on volunteers to manage the club and handle the accounts

We don’t compromise on safety and maintenance said Luc Jacques

“The board believes in the added value of each member of the club and appreciates it very much when they spend some of their spare time in the housekeeping of the club. Every tool that can help to get the housekeeping done more efficiently is off course welcome. “Like many other clubs, we had a few members working in the ICT industry; they developed home-made software to book flights, do the invoicing – and that worked very well for many years,” Luc Jacques said. But the IT developments evolve fast so we started scanning the market for a software that would be able to free up our volunteers and the same time, would allow the club and all our members to enjoy the passion of flying to the fullest.”

The majority of the aeroclub’s board members being in business during their professional life, a data-driven approach comes naturally to them. Accurate and representative estimates about aircraft operation in the club supports the safety and economic analysis of the club’s life. It just makes sense to this community of aviators to connect the dots and see that what works well in their professional lives, can be drawn upon to be beneficial to the aeroclub.

Going with the flow, flying clubs are taking notice of EASA’s GA Roadmap 2.0. Here, EASA stated that Europe’s governing body on aviation will coordinate the development of innovative technical solutions that will provide cockpit- accessible real-time aeronautical and flight data; as well as Share a General Aviation Safety Culture. A digital future for aeroclubs is beneficial for many reasons: for example, a website that has become a public forum for technical support reduces the workload on the maintenance side and help club members catch up on technological advances.

At aeroclub level, going digital is the way up. Although volunteers’ home-made software can do the work for some time to come, the ease with which apps are now being used, makes it worthwhile to move a club’s operations to the next level.

For aeroclubs, change is in the air indeed and Kortrijk Flying Club took a very pro-active approach that would both benefit its volunteers as well as the club.

The aeroclub opted initially for a software platform developed for the Business Aviation industry segment, and then continued to look for an integrated software platform designed for General Aviation.

Luc Jacques: “We compared offerings from Europe and the USA and ultimately decided on Aviatize. Their All-in-One platform in the cloud compares well with what we need and more, and their continuous support in the roll out is very much appreciated.”

Aviatize CEO Tom Verbruggen: “We are passionate about aviation. I am a pilot myself and I love flying. The more the better. Here at Aviatize we want to craft software solutions for aircraft owners, pilots, clubs, operators and aeroclubs that will enable them to excel and ask themselves: How did I not do this before?”

“We see Aviatize as a verb, or at the very least, as a moving process we call ‘The AVIATIZE Way’.

To Aviatize your Flying = maximize your flying, minimize your admin tasks and optimize your overall organization.

Your AVIATIZE suite will for example generate an ideal production plan for students to ensure uninterrupted flight schedule. Other functionalities can be alerts for non-compliances and therefore process breakdown, a maintenance execution plan for optimum manpower distribution, predict a risk level and matching mitigations and much more.

Aviatize Club is the all-in-one solution for aeroclubs and small training organizations. Members of the aeroclub can intuitively reserve aircraft, look up documents, manage transactions, follow training progress and interact with other pilots.

With Aviatize Club, the organization does not have to rely on volunteers to run the administration but can take part in the flying fun, knowing that everything is taken care of.

While flight bookings, administration and documentation control are standard features of Aviatize Club, the platform can be expanded with maintenance planning, training, flight safety and accounting features.

Luc Jacques: “AVIATIZE Club is now in use at Kortrijk Flying Club since the end of 2021. The current focus is on the flight reservation and invoicing solution – which work great. The ROI here is not in immediate financial gain at this stage; we love however to see that our volunteers previously in charge of this part of the operation, today need considerably less time in admin tasks.”

“AVIATIZE Club gives us great flexibility in both the flight reservation and accounting modules,” Luc Jacques said. “The next step will be the training module which is currently being evaluated by our instructors. Once they are familiar with the way the module works and slots in with the other parts of AVIATIZE Club – we will add another stepping stone to ensure that the Kortrijk Flying Club stays “the most vibrant Aviation community on EBKT.

More news

Share on:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin