Dear Captain Lim,
Thank you for your wonderful web site. I have really learnt a lot about aviation than from my magazines and books. I’am afraid it maybe a silly and non-relevant question to you but I have been very curious about this “issue” for a long time.
On a normal daily flight, do you (like a typical office worker) first park your car, go into your airport office cubicle to pick up your paper work, change into your uniform, have a coffee and some office gossip before proceeding to the restricted area, and to your plane with your co-pilot for pre-flight checks? And vice-versa when you return to your home base? Or, do pilots generally go straight to their planes from the car park after the usual airport security?
Do pilots have office cubicles, computer terminals, in-out trays, name cards and things like that? I know you have to file lots of flight plans and stuff but it seems that most pilots do that from the comfort of their home through the Internet.
I’m very sorry if I sound really silly. Please ignore this email if you think so.
A pilot do not have an office cubicle unless he is in a management position. So, out of every 100 pilots, probably 5 to 10 will report to a proper office to do paper work for about 60 to 75 percent of their time. They spend the balance of their time flying so that they can maintain their proficiency in handling the airplane. The other pilots who do not hold any management position are known as 'line pilots. Whilst they do not have an office cubicle, they do check into an office known as "Operation Dispatch Center" to conduct their flying briefing and preparation prior to their flight. Of course, there are crew lounges, canteens, letter boxes, computers terminals, etc, for their convenience. Pilots don't normally go to the plane direct unless they are in an oversea station where they would be briefed by a qualified dispatcher inside the aircraft before every flight.
Yes, in some airlines, it is possible for some of the flight planning to be done via the Internet at home, such as, ordering of fuel (this takes time) for a particular flight after checking the weather forecast and any other needful. It saves time, improves efficiency and is convenient for both the pilots and the dispatchers.