Aeronautical software business takes off with regional pilots
Based in Edmonton aerial trail has quietly grown its aviation business over the past five years, relying on referrals and direct sales to grow its customer base among aviation customers not on most people’s radars.
“It’s a pretty low-key type of business…Regional aviation tends to be very focused on putting its nose down and just getting the job done,” said Bradley Poulette, Founder and CEO of Air Trail, noting that his company ends up acting the same way.
Air Trail provides compliance automation software that helps pilots and airlines track operational details that need to be reported to regulators like Transport Canada, replacing paper records or internal spreadsheets companies have tend to be used for crew tracking, flight and maintenance logs, and weight and balance. . The software is geared toward what Poulette called the behind-the-scenes but crucial operators that people don’t usually think of when they think of an airline — medevac pilots, dust collectors, charter flights, and the like.
The company was part of the first cohort of Alberta Innovates Revenue Acceleratormanaged by GrowthX, which has helped the company grow significantly, COO Brandon Kwong said in a Linkedin post.
Sales cycles are long in the aviation industry, so some of the deals made during Air Trail’s time in the accelerator were already happening, Poulette said. “However, I will also say that there were opportunities in our pipeline that were blocked, which GrowthX helped us unlock,” he added.
Pilots often make thousands of trips a year, with thousands of additional logbooks to complete for each flight. It’s easy to get it wrong given the cumbersome and tedious paperwork, fast turnaround times, and hectic schedules.
“For example, a lot of times someone can miss signing a document or putting the wrong date or something like that. And it takes a human being to go through each individual record,” Poulette explained. “So it takes a lot of time for these operators to review and detect errors like this. While Air Trail not only helps them detect errors like this, but also helps them prevent errors easily preventable when they entered to begin with.”