Rocket Route

Helping Pilots Arrange and Pay for Fuel

3 min read
Design Research
Service Design
Behavioural Science
energy & utilities
situation & task

Private aircraft pilots and flight planning

When private pilots want to arrange fuel they need to do a lot of manual research to find contact information and arrange fueling over the phone, email or when they land at an airport.

RocketRoute, a market leading flight planning app for small pilots, and Air BP, BP’s aviation fuel wing, wanted to explore how they could serve this market.

They approached Spotless to research and design a digital service to help private aircraft pilots arrange and pay for fuel.


Understanding the context

Contextual interviews were held with pilots and Fixed-Base Operators across the UK and Germany. Interviews were held at airports and in their homes, so we could get the context surrounding their planning activities.

This research enabled us to understand the pilot’s process and pain points to reframe the problem and areas of focus for the design phase.

We also conducted supporting desk research to find best practice examples of key interactions and flows around purchasing.

Learning how pilots think about fuel

The research phase revealed that private pilots would fly on a full tank for safety, whereas commercial private jet pilots may need to wait until just before flying to calculate fuel – as their client might bring extra baggage and/or guests, making fuel weight an issue.

Learning that pilots wanted to either fuel “on arrival” or “before departure” meant that fueling time could be extracted from a flight plan – saving the user from entering the information on 2 systems.

Looking at the wider service

We spoke to the client about the importance of considering the service as a whole – outside of the interactions of the app.

We demonstrated the opportunity to monitor incoming pilots to schedule fuelling rather than force the pilot to contact the fuel team when landed – saving them valuable time and effort.

“Working with Spotless was a great experience for Air BP and the professional approach and advice were very much appreciated. You went the extra mile for us and the customer research feedback was presented in a very clear way which really helped to quickly identify areas of value. We hope to work together with you again in the future.” - Claire Orriss, Offer Development Manager

Defining requirements and setting direction

As a team, we went through the data to create personas and scenarios to focus the design.
We ran workshops with the client that defined the requirements and experience principles of the service.

We also created a touchpoint map documenting the key interactions, pain points and opportunities along the user journey from awareness to advocacy.

Design phase

With a prioritised backlog of user stories we then ran 3 design sprints.

Starting on paper, so we were able to explore ideas, get feedback and iterate quickly. We then moved to Omnigraffle to wireframe and InVision to create interactive prototypes.

We ran remote user testing sessions with pilots to test our assumptions and to make iterative improvements to the design with users from the UK and Germany using InVision’s share feature.

at a glance


Contextual interviews, personas, scenarios, touchpoint mapping, design sprints, wireframing and prototyping, remote user testing


RocketRoute and Air BP wanted to create a digital service for private aircraft pilots to arrange and pay for fuel.


Insights revealed that pilots preferred to fuel "on arrival" or "before departure," allowing fueling time extraction from flight plans.

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Targeting user needs

Based on the insights uncovered during user research and feedback, we designed a solution to include a quick and simple “Captain’s Request” option and the ability to check fuel availability easily, moving away from a pre-pay and pre-configure route.

Front-end agency

The project was delivered according to schedule and handed over to a front-end agency to produce the app and showcase it at the EBASE Aviation conference and trade show.

We achieved a great customer experience and fulfilled business goals whilst working on a condensed timeline.

You can find out more about the app from the Air BP website, or see it for yourself by downloading it from the iTunes store.


Direct insights from our valued partners, capturing the essence of Spotless collaborations.

"Spotless worked with us as our business partner, always going the extra mile to ensure our needs were met in a professional and timely manner."

Sharon Stinton, Learning and Development Leader
GE Money

"We required 'out of the box' thinking, meticulous attention to detail, an instinctive understanding of game design and a high-level of UX expertise. We got all of this and more."


"Spotless has been extremely professional and the team have worked closely with us to achieve our objectives and helped us frame our thinking in ensuring the outcome matched our initial scope."

Jennie Curran, Client Relationship Manager
BBDO Stoy Hayward

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