Posted 2 years 36 days ago ago by jhadmin
Texas-based Night Flight Concepts (NFC) has impressive numbers. It has an instructor staff with 39,109 flight hours that has trained 1,443 students. It has inspected and repaired 3,391 night vision goggles, and has 300 customers worldwide. Yet, there’s also another thing at which the company excels: It creates clever acronyms to trademark its brands.
Take SOAR, for example. Sure, it’s a common aviation word, even biblical: “They will soar on wings like eagles” comes to mind. (Looks like Isaiah was in the fixed-wing camp.) However, S.O.A.R.TM is also NFC’s service that provides comprehensive airborne resources for any mission: Special Operations Aviator Resources. That’s creative naming. Don’t agree? Well, Madison Avenue types get paid big bucks to brand everything from video to bottled water, and they still deliver failures like Sony Betamax and Coor’s Rocky Mountain Spring Water. (It’s true that some beerheads compare Coor’s beer to water, but that’s just harsh!)
After 10 years of planning and development, NFC has launched a new turnkey elite aviation solution for law enforcement. Yep, it has another great name: L.E.A.S.E.TM for Law Enforcement Air Support Entity. The acronym perfectly describes the brand because L.E.A.S.E. has a supporting aviation solution for every type of law enforcement agency:
- If an agency is currently operating certified aircraft, L.E.A.S.E. can allow them to upgrade their aircraft and equipment more frequently and operate more effectively. L.E.A.S.E. can even temporarily augment a fleet for special events, like a Super Bowl or large convention, when more resources are required.
- If an agency is operating surplus and older aircraft, L.E.A.S.E. can help them eliminate unpredictable and high maintenance costs.
- If an agency doesn’t have an aviation unit at all, then L.E.A.S.E. can really shine by providing a fully functioning unit with no up-front capital costs and controlled operational expenses.
According to NFC President Adam Aldous, it’s this latter scenario that allows L.E.A.S.E. to display all it has to offer. “In that case, NFC actually is an air operator for public service law enforcement purposes, and we vet qualified personnel to be pilots and tactical flight officers.” In other words, what L.E.A.S.E. does for law enforcement agencies is comparable to what Air Evac Lifeteam and Air Methods does in providing helicopter EMS for hospitals.
While many agencies know they need an aviation unit, they have no idea how to really start one. Not only do they have to find the right aircraft and equip it appropriately, but there are also procedural and legal requirements to master. From manuals and safety management systems to funding and hiring, the process can seem overwhelming.
Now with L.E.A.S.E., NFC musters their aviation experience and industry relationships to assist law enforcement agencies throughout the process. “Our L.E.A.S.E. program grew with out of the box thinking into a comprehensive aviation solution for communities to have a reliable, safe, and efficient law enforcement air asset patrolling the skies,” says Aldous. “We expanded upon a standard aircraft lease program to provide additional levels of support and service.”
The L.E.A.S.E. Difference
There are additional ways that L.E.A.S.E. differs from a traditional helicopter leasing program. A traditional lessor just leases aircraft, and maybe equipment. In contrast, NFC not only leases aircraft and equipment, but it also is an aviation operator with experience in law enforcement, military, and other government agencies. “We’re already tied in and doing a lot with these government organizations through our other capabilities at Night Flight Concepts. In this industry, those type of relationships are key,” says Aldous.
NFC CEO Gordon Jiroux further explains this difference. “With traditional lease programs offered by your typical leasing companies, the lease is very similar to a standard automotive vehicle lease. The lessee is responsible for all things associated with the use of the vehicle. With our L.E.A.S.E. program, the full support that comes with our leased helicopters is second to none. Within NFC’s standard lease we include the pilot, mechanic, insurance, parts, a Heliwagon, and our business support team. It is completely turnkey.” Of course, if an aviation unit doesn’t need all those services, then in those cases NFC can work to provide a more traditional lease.
Insurance & Maintenance Advantages
Another way L.E.A.S.E. differs from other leasing programs is that they have arranged for two industry leaders to provide essential aviation unit services: Jet Support Services Inc. (JSSI) provides the financial framework for a predictable maintenance budget, while aviation insurance broker Sutton James Inc. services insurance needs. "It is important to us at NFC to provide a comprehensive aviation support solution to our L.E.A.S.E. customers,” says Jiroux. "That's why we have developed strategic relationships with JSSI to help cut costs and stabilize maintenance budgets for future maintenance and unscheduled events.” Jiroux also sees NFC’s relationship with Sutton James Inc. as equally essential. “It allows our L.E.A.S.E customers the opportunity to obtain the best insurance rates from top-rated insurance companies when they package NFC recurrent training services and JSSI hourly-cost maintenance programs,” he says.
has a global network that act as technical advisors when needed, and the company can sometimes source parts even better than original equipment manufacturers. L.E.A.S.E. program aircraft enrolled in a JSSI program can retain a much higher valuation than those not enrolled. Raymond Weiser, helicopter program specialist at JSSI states the advantage he sees his company offering. “Our distinct advantage for the NFC L.E.A.S.E. model is the fact that we offer programs for virtually all makes and models of aircraft. Therefore, no matter how diverse the NFC fleet may become, JSSI will be their single source solution for engine, airframe or Tip-To-Tail® helicopter maintenance coverage while offering 100 percent transferability to another make or model.”
NFC’s Aldous also emphasizes aircraft upkeep. “I want to make sure, no matter what, that the aircraft is taken care of from a parts and maintenance standpoint,” he says.
Sutton James Inc.
sees their insurance partnership with NFC benefiting law enforcement agencies. “Over time, we have worked to develop a deep understanding of Night Flight Concepts practices and protocols,” says Sutton James Inc. broker Caitlyn Jones-Henry. “This means that when we approach underwriters for competitive quotes, we have the background and knowledge to secure the most competitive premiums, the best packaged insurance policy, and the best risk management program for L.E.A.S.E. business partners. We see this as the value that we add to Night Flight Concepts’ dynamic and growing business.”
So, how much does all this L.E.A.S.E. goodness cost? There are many variables that factor in, but here’s one broad example:
• Equipped Robinson R66 aircraft
• 48-month lease
• 50 flight hours per month
• Full-time stationed pilot
Total cost: approximately $42,000 per month, or $845 per flight hour. To put that in perspective, the maintenance cost alone on a non-L.E.A.S.E. Bell OH-58 equipped for law enforcement can run $650 an hour.
A typical L.E.A.S.E. program will be for a minimum of two years for lighter aircraft, with four years being ideal for larger models. The beauty is that if the an agency’s mission profiles changes over time, the aircraft and equipment can change accordingly. L.E.A.S.E. can equip everything from onboard systems to flight gear and helmets.
Aldous summarizes the L.E.A.S.E. way of doing business. “We really want to educate our customers. I want them to spend their money wisely and have aircraft that are going to work for them. We’re not trying to sell them the latest and greatest under the sun just to get a higher price tag. We’re also not married to one aircraft or manufacturer, so we can really find what’s best for each customer. We tie everything they need into one budget at a low, predictable monthly cost.”
NFC is introducing L.E.A.S.E. at numerous industry shows and conferences. More information is available at nightflightconcepts.com/brands/lease