Businesses world-wide are increasingly turning to private aircraft as a sensible and , believe it or not, cost-effective method of travel. A corporate flight department consists of an airplane or helicopter, mechanics to work on it, pilots to fly it, dispatchers to coordinate and schedule flights and cleaners to keep the aircraft clean.
Corporate flight departments are usually led by a Director of Aviation or in smaller departments by a Chief Pilot who has open access to the CEO. These managers are typically senior pilots who oversee the flight operations department. They are responsible for over all safety of flight, security and privacy, aircraft maintenance, customer service, crew training, crew assignments and scheduling. Many have P&L accountability and oversee the departmental budget and aircraft operational budget.
The types of aircraft operated by corporate flight departments varies from single-engine piston powered airplanes to twin engine piston and turbo prop powered airplanes to 2 or 3 engine jet aircraft. Corporate aircraft may be purchased outright, as a partnership or leased. Pilot qualifications vary from Commercial Instrument rated pilots up to Airline Transport Pilots with aircraft specific type ratings.
Corporate flight operations are flown under CFR 14, Part 91 operating rules. The company may fly domestically or internationally depending on the capabilities of the aircraft as well as the pilots. Some international flying requires FAA authorizations in the form of an LOA or Letter of Authorization. CPDLC is an example.
Many times the flight department is considered a specialized department and the jobs may not be listed on the corporate website. You may have to call the HR department to ask specifically if there are openings in the department. Sometimes they will know and other times they may refer you to the Director of Aviation or Chief Pilot.