ForeFlight (Booth 2635) is releasing enhancements to its Dispatch and Mobile applications that bring new integration, as well as new features such as weight-and-balance improvements, fuel tankering, and eAPIS services. Other new features include a custom navlog builder and additional aircraft available on ForeFlight’s runway analysis service.
“We’re bringing it all together for business aviation,” said Stephen Newman, ForeFlight executive v-p of sales and marketing. “Dispatch is at the center, and it’s a new, modern collaborative flight planning system.” Dispatch is ForeFlight’s flight planning and dispatching application, for use by flight department dispatchers and planners. All of the information in Dispatch comes from the same underlying data that serves the ForeFlight app, allowing pilots and dispatchers to easily share and synchronize information.
“The hurdle is the sheer magnitude of the gymnastics [we have to go through] to get information moved from the planner to the pilot, from headquarters to the flight deck,” he said. “We’re able to deliver all that information in a seamless synchronized fashion. Any changes are replicated from one place to another.”
After introducing its runway analysis service earlier this year, ForeFlight has already developed engine-out procedures for more than 60 percent of the common business aviation fleet, according to Newman. More aircraft are added with each new software release, and runway analysis is available with the Mobile app, Dispatch, and ForeFlight’s web platform. Runway analysis is an add-on feature and quickly calculates the available maximum payload given the planned runway, weather conditions, and loading of the airplane.
ForeFlight has redesigned its weight-and-balance system so it is more integrated into the flight planning workflow, and this was released just before NBAA-BACE.
The Fuel Advisor’s tankering advice is a new feature, and it will be available in Dispatch later this year. Fuel Advisor looks at a string of legs for a trip and gives advice on whether or not to tanker fuel, based on fuel prices, leg lengths, and other factors. “Fuel advisor knows what legs to string together,” he said. “We’ll pull in jet-A contract pricing, and there is an opportunity to set price breaks or waivers for airports or FBOs. It crunches the numbers and puts out a scenario that optimizes savings in terms of fuel uplift.”
Some ForeFlight Dispatch flight operations users have been testing Fuel Advisor, he added, “and a lot of customers are excited. We believe it will pay for itself in one or two trips. It gives not only the best tankering scenario but also what it costs to uplift and carry fuel. You can do a lot of analysis on this. It doesn’t require a lot of effort to get results.”
The new U.S. Customs and Border Protection eAPIS service will launch in Dispatch then be added to ForeFlight Mobile.
With the custom navlog builder, users will be able to create their own formats for navlogs and create templates suited to their operation. It also enables creating business rules, such as if-then scenarios. For example, if an operator lands their aircraft at an airport, then they need to make sure there is a certain amount of fuel in reserve. Or specifying a different, more suitable alternative when flying to a particular airport.
“Customers are thrilled at how easy this all works together,” Newman said. “Our focus has been around embedding ourselves with customers to understand their pain points and working to address those. That’s what this is all about.”