What’s New in ForeFlight Dispatch (February 2020)

Since launching late last year Dispatch has already gained numerous new features and workflow improvements to help flight departments plan, collaborate, and monitor flights more efficiently. From flight attachments and more prominent weather information to flexible crew assignments, change tracking, and more, every week brings significant enhancements, and we’re not planning to slow down any time soon. Read on to learn about each new and improved feature and how they can benefit your operation.

Want to learn more about ForeFlight Dispatch? Visit foreflight.com/dispatch or sign up for a personalized demo with a ForeFlight Sales representative here.

Attach Flight Documents from Dispatch

Building on the introduction of the Files in Flights capability to ForeFlight late last year, flight planners can now attach documents to flights right from Dispatch and deliver them to assigned crew members in seconds. Attach PDFs, images, Microsoft Word documents, and many other file types to make them accessible right in ForeFlight for viewing and printing before the flight.

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Click the Files tab at the top of a flight in Dispatch and click the plus button to browse for files to add, or simply drag and drop files from your computer’s file explorer to upload them to the flight. Dispatch supports uploading files of 25MB or less using any of the following file types: pdf, tiff, tif, jpg, jpeg, gif, png, bmp, bmpf, doc, docx, xlsx, pptx, ppt, csv.

Information about uploaded documents appears below the upload button, including each document’s name, date created, date last updated, and the type of the file (e.g. pdf, csv, etc.). You can rename attached files by clicking the pencil button to the right of each file’s name, which will also update the file’s name in ForeFlight Mobile. Click Download on the right to download the file to your computer (helpful if the file was uploaded by someone else), and click Delete to permanently remove the file from the flight.

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Any file that you upload to a flight will appear in the Files tab on ForeFlight’s Flights view for any crew members assigned to the flight (excluding ad-hoc crew members who are not part of your ForeFlight account – read more about ad-hoc crew members below). A red dot appears on the Files tab when new documents are added. Crew members can view the documents and share or print them.

By-Leg Altitude Changes in Route Builder

Dispatch’s Route Builder now supports changes in cruise altitude between different legs of a flight, allowing you to take advantage of more favorable winds, comply with airspace restrictions, and more. After selecting a route on the Flight Edit page, click the Route Builder button to view the list of waypoints on the left.

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Every waypoint that isn’t part of a procedure (departure, arrival, or approach) has an Edit button to its right that you can use to change the flight’s altitude at that waypoint. Set the new altitude on the left using the up/down arrow buttons or by typing in a new altitude, expressed as a flight level.

The dropdown menu to the right lets you select how the new altitude will be applied to the flight: “Until waypoint” applies the new altitude to every editable waypoint up to and including the current waypoint without changing the altitudes of subsequent waypoint, while “After waypoint” applies the new altitude to every waypoint including and after the current one, leaving previous waypoints the same. Click the check button to confirm the changes and apply the new altitude, or click the cancel button to discard any altitude changes for that waypoint.

Waypoints that are part of the flight’s climb or descent won’t update their altitudes to match new altitudes for cruise waypoints, but they will update to reflect a new climb or descent profile as required by changes to the flight’s cruise altitude.

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Click back to the Flight Edit page and the new altitude changes are listed beneath the Selected Route field. The altitude changes are also reflected in ForeFlight’s Briefing and Navlog, ensuring that the flight’s crew members can view them once the flight is released.

More Prominent Airport Weather Information

To help flight planners quickly assess current and forecast weather that could impact a flight, Dispatch now provides important weather information in multiple easy-to-access places.

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On the main Flights List, click on the airport identifier in either the Departure or Destination column to view a new popup showing the airport’s latest METAR, TAF, and NOTAMs sorted in reverse-chronological order. Click the button at the bottom of this popup to bring you to the Dispatch Airport Information page for comprehensive information about each airport. Also on the Flights List, any airport with low IFR conditions expected at the time of your flight (based on a METAR or TAF) will show a purple LIFR label next to the airport identifier to warn flight planners of these conditions.

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In the Flight Edit view, the METAR/TAF/NOTAM popup is also now available when you click the Info button next to any airport in your route. Lastly, searching for an airport using any of the Airport fields now shows more information about each airport in the list, including the flight category from the most recent METAR, the latest wind and visibility reports, and the length of the longest runway.

Winds Aloft Map Layer

Dispatch’s built-in map now includes a global Winds Aloft forecast layer that you can use to quickly find favorable winds at different altitudes. Enable the layer by clicking the Layer button in the top-left of Dispatch’s map and selecting Winds Aloft at the top of the right-hand column. Just like the Winds Aloft layer in ForeFlight Mobile, global wind patterns are depicted using directional wind barbs that have a variable number of “legs” and different colors to indicate wind speed. Use the Altitude Slider on the right to view winds at different altitudes in intervals of 3,000 feet. Changing your flight’s planned altitude will cause the slider to automatically move to whichever altitude setting is closest to it.

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Unlike the mobile app, the Winds Aloft layer in Dispatch also provides a Time Slider to view wind forecasts for multiple time periods, up to more than 6 days in the future. Click the Play button on the right of the slider to animate the layer, showing how the winds change with each forecast period.

Saved Routes

Flight planners who always use the same route for a given airport pair can now load such routes more quickly using Saved Routes. Click the floppy disk button (we love a good throwback) on the right side of the Selected Route field to save the currently-entered route. The next time you plan a flight with the same departure and destination airports, that route will appear in the Routes List under a “Saved Routes” header.

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Account administrators can view and delete any saved routes on the account in the Saved Routes tab of the Dispatch Settings menu.

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Flight Change Tracking

Dispatch will track the history of changes made to each flight and by whom, giving account administrators greater oversight of flight plans in the system. The “Last Change” status at the bottom of the Flight Edit view shows which user made the last change to the flight. Click “(view history)” to see every major action made to the flight since it was created: the type of action is shown under the Event column (e.g. Created, Modified, Released, Filed, etc.), the user or system that initiated the action is shown under the By column (e.g. Scheduling, Dispatch user, Auto-compute), the user’s email address is shown to the right for each action made by a user, and the date/time of each action is shown in the rightmost column. Click the top of the Event or Time columns to reorder the list based on those columns.

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Assign Ad-Hoc Crew Members to Flights

Dispatch now has the ability to send email notifications to flight team members who are not included in your ForeFlight account. Provide flight details and updates to contract pilots, ground handlers, cabin attendants, or anyone else who needs to be notified simply by entering their email address in one of the Crew fields. This will add them to the flight as an “ad-hoc” pilot, and upon releasing or updating the flight they will receive the same notification email sent to pilots on your account, which includes a link to view the flight’s briefing.

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Unlike pilots on your account, ad-hoc pilots cannot access flights to which they are added using ForeFlight, even if they have an active ForeFlight subscription.

Auto-Refresh Flight Plans & Briefings

To ensure that crew members can access the most up-to-date information about their assigned flights, Dispatch can now automatically refresh a flight’s briefing and performance calculations after it’s been released. Enable the Auto-Refresh option in Dispatch’s Briefing Settings list to turn on Auto-Refresh for flights. Once enabled, this feature will refresh a flight’s Navlog, Briefing, and performance calculations every hour until one hour prior to departure. The refreshed information is automatically synced to crew members’ devices as long as they’re connected to the internet and running ForeFlight.

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Visit foreflight.com/dispatch to learn more about all the things Dispatch can do, or sign up for a personalized demo with a ForeFlight Sales representative here.

ForeFlight Unveils Advanced Collaborative Flight Planning for Teams of Any Size; Signs with Flexjet

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  • Dispatch is an add-on to ForeFlight’s Mobile and Web application that equally empowers pilots, flight planners, and ops managers in flight departments big and small to collaborate and plan flights with greater efficiency and precision.
  • Flexjet signs on as the inaugural customer, adopting Dispatch to complement its longtime use of ForeFlight Mobile on the flight deck. 
  • Learn more at foreflight.com/dispatch

LAS VEGAS, Oct. 21, 2019 – Boeing (NYSE:BA) announced the launch of ForeFlight Dispatch, a team flight planning component of its web application that delivers a next-generation, multi-user, schedule-to-mobile flight planning capability for flight operations of any size.

With Dispatch, flight plans are created by pilots, dispatchers, or automatically via integrated scheduling systems to generate “cleared-as-filed” routes, briefings, and operational flight plans, which are then synchronized with the ForeFlight Mobile application on crew devices. Flight watchers or dispatchers can then monitor flights or make changes to flight plans, and all changes are automatically synced back to crew devices, resulting in a more productive flight operation.

Customers across North America and Europe have already tested the new capabilities with live flight operations in an extensive beta program. The inaugural customer of ForeFlight Dispatch, Flexjet, is a preeminent operator committed to deploying the latest technology throughout the organization.

“As one of the industry’s most innovative brands, Flexjet regularly seeks to drive efficiencies in every part of our business,” said Flexjet Chief Operating Officer Megan Wolf. “ForeFlight, in partnership with us, dramatically improved the flight planning process and created cutting-edge technology for both the Dispatchers and the Pilots.”

“For the past year, we have beta tested the Dispatch software to our Global fleet, which operate all over the world,” said Tim Montie, director of operations at Flexjet. “The efficiencies that we have realized with optimized flight plan routes, fuel burns, and passenger comfort have been outstanding. This has also allowed us to reduce the number of applications that our pilots must maintain and reduces the amount of actual paper documents that each pilot and aircraft must carry.” 

“We are thrilled to be expanding our longstanding relationship with Flexjet as they adopt our Dispatch capabilities,” said Tyson Weihs, Co-Founder and CEO of ForeFlight, a Boeing Company. “We worked closely with Flexjet to identify and eliminate the biggest inefficiencies faced by their teams: workflow fragmentation, slow route generation, disconnected systems, and complex workarounds to release flights to crew members. We are now addressing these issues by combining the app’s historical strengths and our Jeppesen data in a single, streamlined, next-gen flight planning solution.”

ForeFlight Dispatch solves several common challenges for flight departments — how to efficiently load flight plans from the scheduling system, select valid and optimal flight routes, collaboratively plan, file, and monitor flights, and ultimately distribute them along with associated documents to crew members’ mobile devices.

With Dispatch, supported flight scheduling systems can send flights directly into ForeFlight so teams can start working with them right away. ForeFlight Web provides a centralized list view of all planned and filed flights so Planners have better insight into the status of any flight and the overall view of the day’s operations.

Likewise, pilots can easily see flights assigned to them both on the web and on their mobile devices. Flights created by pilots on their mobile devices appear on the web for planners to view and edit, allowing flight crews and planning teams to view more easily. ForeFlight’s Sync system ensures that all changes are reflected across the platform for everyone involved.

All of Boeing’s existing best-in-class flight planning features through ForeFlight, combined with its high-quality “runway to runway” flight planning data through Jeppesen, are enhanced by the addition of advanced capabilities like fine-tuned route constraints and partial routing, at-a-glance speed and altitude performance comparisons, expanded fuel policies, automatic Jeppesen Airway Manual lookups and overflight reports.

Dispatch’s Scheduling API allows ForeFlight to integrate with scheduling software providers and enterprise systems. Initial planned integrations include Boeing’s Jeppesen Operator, SD Scheduler, Flightdocs Enterprise, BART by Seagil Software, PFM Ops Console, and Avmosys.

Customers attending NBAA can see a demo and sign up to get started with Dispatch at the ForeFlight booth in North Hall – Booth 5518, and the Boeing booth in North and Central halls – Booth 5202.

To learn more about ForeFlight Dispatch, visit foreflight.com/dispatch. To schedule a demo of Dispatch, contact sales@foreflight.com.

Additional Product Highlights:

Workflow Enhancing Integrations

Scheduling system integrations can send scheduled flights into ForeFlight, complete with the flight details needed for a flight planner to start working with them right away. Dispatch’s APIs also allow external systems – scheduling software, passenger itineraries, and more – to leverage ForeFlight’s advanced performance engine with quickly-returned “performance quotes,” delivering estimated time and fuel burn results for flights before they even reach ForeFlight.

Dispatch integrates crew assignment and mobile flight releases into its flight planning workflow, allowing planners to release flight plans directly to assigned crew members’ iPads and iPhones before departure. Flight plans are delivered to crew members within seconds of being released, complete with aircraft, airport, route, and performance details.

ForeFlight’s Navlog and Briefing documents are also generated for each flight plan and synced to crew members’ devices, providing quick access to everything they need. Any changes made by planners to a released flight will automatically sync to pilots’ devices, along with updated documents reflecting the changes.

Optimized Route Generation

Dispatch leverages and extends ForeFlight’s next-generation flight planning engine and Recommended Route, which uses Jeppesen’s high quality “runway-to-runway” aeronautical data along with forecast weather, aircraft performance, and ATC history to create optimized and globally file-able flight plans. For flights in Europe, ForeFlight automatically validates every route against EUROCONTROL rules to ensure it can be filed without rejection.

The new Route Builder feature allows planners to specify detailed route constraints that ForeFlight adheres to when generating the optimized Recommended Route. These include avoiding FIRs, airways, waypoints, and SID or STAR procedures, or including any of the above in ForeFlight’s auto-generated route. Planners can also specify “partial routes” that comply with strict overflight permits or preferential routing through certain airspace, allowing ForeFlight to incorporate those segments verbatim while optimizing the remainder of the route. ForeFlight accepts new constraints and updates the Recommended Route extremely quickly.

A key component of the Route Builder is the Route Analysis Report document, which searches Jeppesen’s digital airway manual and returns any relevant airway restrictions in seconds. Flight planners can then add new constraints to bypass the airways and re-generate the route, saving significant time and removing the need for leafing through physical airway manuals.

Dispatch also brings ETP and ETOPS planning to ForeFlight. Aircraft can be configured with details concerning depressurization and medical scenarios, ETP-specific fuel parameters, and single-engine speed used for ETOPS calculations. Flight planners can then select diversion airports for a flight and ForeFlight will calculate ETP information for each pair of airports and include it in the Navlog document for easy reference.

Enable ETOPS for a flight and ForeFlight will check that every route leg is within ETOPS certification, and display ETOPS rings around each diversion airport on ForeFlight’s dynamic route map. The map can also highlight a route’s point of safe return (also known as point of no return), allowing planners to quickly identify how far along the route the plane can still return to the departure airport with sufficient fuel reserves.

Flexible Fuel & Performance Planning

Dispatch combines ForeFlight’s existing fuel planning capabilities like Fuel Policies with new features that make the process even easier. Cruise Advisor provides side-by-side performance comparisons of different altitude and cruise speed combinations so flight planners can quickly find the desired balance between time enroute and fuel usage. Planners can choose up to three cruise profiles to compare at five nearby altitudes, and ForeFlight calculates the forecast winds, time enroute, and fuel burn for each combination. The combinations resulting in the lowest fuel usage and the shortest trip time are each highlighted for easy identification.

Dispatch adds multiple wind model options for greater flexibility while flight planning. Planners can choose the Forecasted model, which uses actual winds aloft forecasts out to seven days in advance; the Historical model, which uses historical winds with selectable probability settings of 50%, 85%, or 90%; or the Fixed wind model, which allows the planner to define a specific head- or tailwind component and ISA deviation that applies to the entire flight.

Multiple reserve fuel policies corresponding to a number of FAA and EASA regulatory designations are also available with Dispatch. Planners can select one to automatically calculate the fuel required under that policy, or manually input a quantity of reserve fuel or minutes of equivalent flight time.

Helpful Flight Documents

Dispatch extends ForeFlight’s lineup of auto-generated preflight documents with new additions that can help flight planners and crew members prepare for and conduct the flight. The Briefing document combines information about NOTAMs and forecast weather with other documents to create a single, comprehensive flight briefing for simplified crew delivery. ForeFlight’s Navlog document provides detailed flight fuel and weight metrics, waypoint-by-waypoint performance and altitude comparisons, airport frequencies, and more, making it a convenient inflight reference.

The new Overflight Report sums together all FIR overflight fees that would be incurred for a given route. For each FIR the document lists the parent country, the entry and exit coordinates, the total distance and duration spent transiting the FIR, and the overflight charges and accrued cost as the flight progresses.

Flexjet first entered the fractional jet ownership market in 1995. Flexjet offers fractional jet ownership and leasing. Flexjet’s fractional aircraft program is the first in the world to be recognized as achieving the Air Charter Safety Foundation’s Industry Audit Standard, is the first and only company to be honored with 20 FAA Diamond Awards for Excellence, upholds an ARG/US Platinum Safety Rating and is IS-BAO compliant at Level 2. Flexjet’s fractional program fields an exclusive array of business aircraft—some of the youngest in the fractional jet industry, with an average age of approximately six years. In 2015, Flexjet introduced Red Label by Flexjet, which features the youngest fleet in the industry, flight crews dedicated to a single aircraft and the LXi Cabin Collection of interiors. To date there are more than 30 different interior designs across its fleet, which includes the Challenger 350, the Embraer Legacy 450, Global Express, the Gulfstream G450, G500 and G650, and the Aerion AS2 supersonic business jets. In addition, the overall jet collection includes the Embraer Phenom 300 and Bombardier Challenger 300. Flexjet is a member of the Directional Aviation family of companies. For more details on innovative programs and flexible offerings, visit http://www.flexjet.com or follow us on Twitter @Flexjet and on Instagram @FlexjetLLC.

Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading provider of commercial airplanes, defense, space and security systems, and global services. As the top U.S. exporter, the company supports commercial and government customers in more than 150 countries. Boeing employs more than 150,000 people worldwide and leverages the talents of a global supplier base. Building on a legacy of aerospace leadership, Boeing continues to lead in technology and innovation, deliver for its customers and invest in its people and future growth.