We’ve continued updating Dispatch since the last post to expand its capabilities even further, with new highly-requested features like Custom Airports, global RAIM prediction, expanded map layers, and more.
Unlock flight planning to and from any location you want by defining your own custom airports that can be used just like regular airports. Account admins can access the Custom Airports page in Dispatch Settings. From here you can view the details of all custom airports on your account so far, delete any of them, and create new custom airports.
Every custom airport is defined simply by a unique four-letter identifier, a name, and a set of lat/long coordinates. When adding a new custom airport you can either enter or paste these coordinates into the proper text field manually, or use the built-in map to zoom in on the airport’s location and right click to mark the coordinates.
In addition to the admin-only Custom Airports view, any flight planner or pilot in Dispatch can add a custom airport right from the Flight Edit view. Start typing in any of the airport fields to see the “Add a custom airport” button appear at the bottom of the drop-down, and click it to add the new airport’s remaining details and save it to the account. You can then immediately use that custom airport for the flight plan. When you file a flight plan to or from a custom airport, Dispatch automatically provides the airport’s coordinates and name in the proper fields of the ICAO filing form, allowing you to file the flight plan as easily as you would with known airports.
Global RAIM Prediction
Dispatch now supports receiver autonomous integrity monitoring (RAIM) analysis for flight plans anywhere in the world, not just in the U.S. A new setting switch in the Dispatch Settings menu allows you to set RAIM to be U.S.-only or Worldwide. With Worldwide RAIM enabled, the Dispatch briefing package includes a new page containing details about the calculation and any predicted outages for both your departure and destination airports.
Route Map Improvements
Dispatch’s Route Map includes new map layers that provide information about airport-specific weather like Surface Winds, Visibility, Ceiling, and more. These layers are all derived from each airport’s latest METAR, so they’re available for any airport reporting METARs anywhere in the world.
The Route Map also includes new government chart layers for the U.S., Canada, and Europe, based on which regions are included in your ForeFlight subscription. Both VFR and IFR High/Low charts are included for each region, bringing Dispatch’s Route Map more in line with the capability of the mobile app.
Lastly, you can now collapse the Performance table just above the Route Map in the Flight Edit view by clicking the caret button on the left. The Route Map then expands upward to fill the space, allowing flight planners to work with a larger map.
New Operational Rules: Type of Flight & Avoid FIR
Dispatch supports two new types of Operational Rules to give account administrators more centralized control over flights planned in Dispatch. The “Type of Flight” rule allows you to determine what flight category certain flights must be filed under. Options include G – General Aviation, N – Non-scheduled, S – Scheduled, M – Military, and X – Other. Any flights matching the rule’s criteria (departure airport, destination airport, and/or aircraft tail number) will automatically use the selected flight type, but flight planners can manually change it if needed.
The second new rule is adapted from the “Avoid FIR” route constraint used to generate a Recommended Route that avoids certain airspace. Click the Airspaces dropdown on the right and scroll through the list of FIRs, or search by FIR name, identifier, or country, selecting all the FIRs you want to include in the rule. After defining the rule’s criteria and saving it, any flights matching the criteria will automatically adopt the Avoid FIR route constraint for all the FIRs you defined.