What’s New in ForeFlight Dispatch (December 2020)

Dispatch has continued receiving update after update this summer and fall, expanding its capabilities and feature set even further to help flight departments operate more efficiently. Check out our last two blog posts to learn about previous Dispatch enhancements.

Editable Flight Releases

Flight planners in Dispatch can release new flights to pilots in one of two modes – Read-Only or Editable – greatly enhancing Dispatch’s potential for collaborative flight planning and supporting self-dispatching pilots. Additionally, Dispatch’s settings allow account administrators to force all flight releases to use either of the two modes, ensuring that the same release mode is used for all flight plans.

By default, flight planners can release flights in either mode. Once a flight is ready for release, click the Release button in the bottom-right corner of the Flight Edit view or from the list of quick actions on the Flights List to open the Release Flight popup. If both release modes are available, select one and click Release Flight to release it using that mode.

Flight plans released as editable appear on crew members’ devices just like other flight releases, but all the fields in the flight plan are editable. Any changes to the flight plan made by an assigned crew member will be reflected both in Dispatch and on the devices of any other assigned crew members.

ForeFlight account admins can access two different settings for flight releases at the bottom of the Dispatch Planning Settings menu. “Release Mode” sets the default mode for flight releases – either Read Only or Locked – and “Lock Release Mode” determines whether flight planners can use either release mode for a flight or must use the default mode set above.

Not all flight plans can be released as editable. If a flight contains features not fully supported in ForeFlight Mobile, such as ETP/ETOPS planning, the editable release option is grayed out in the Release Flight popup, and a warning message indicates why that mode is unavailable.

Not all flight plans can be released as editable. If a flight contains features not fully supported in ForeFlight Mobile, such as ETP/ETOPS planning, the editable release option is grayed out in the Release Flight popup, and a warning message indicates why that mode is unavailable.

Automated Flight Releases

Dispatch can automatically release flight plans to assigned crew members, relieving flight planners of this routine task so they can turn their attention to other flights. ForeFlight account administrators can enable this feature in the Automation section of Dispatch Settings, which also includes the Auto Refresh Settings for automatically updating performance calculations and the briefing package before a flight.

Access the Auto Release settings in the Schedule API section. The “Release at” setting determines how many hours prior to the flight’s planned departure the flight will be released to crew members. Automatic flight releases will use the default release mode specified at the bottom of the Planning Settings list as described above.

Flight Watchers

Keep interested parties who aren’t crew members up to speed on the status of a flight by adding them as Flight Watchers. Access the Flight Watchers section in each flight’s ATC Data tab and add one or more email addresses to send them the same notifications about the flight as the assigned crew members.

Procedure Advisor in Dispatch

Easily add departure and arrival procedures to a route in Dispatch using Procedure Advisor, which is similar in most ways to the capability in ForeFlight Mobile’s Maps view with a few key differences. After entering or selecting a route from the Routes list, click the Procedure Advisor button just below the Route Builder button. 

Switch between SIDs and STARs using the buttons in the top-left and select any procedure in the list below to see it previewed in the interactive map on the right. If multiple transitions are available for a procedure you can select those from the “Enroute Transition” section in the bottom-left. Click the Chart button to view any procedure’s plate in a new tab. With a procedure selected, click Apply in the bottom-left to add the procedure to your planned route.

Like Procedure Advisor in ForeFlight Mobile, each procedure in the list uses colored labels to indicate which aircraft types are approved to fly it. Unlike in ForeFlight Mobile, Procedure Advisor in Dispatch includes procedures that may only be assigned by ATC, which you can preview on the map by clicking the View button, but cannot add them to your route string. Procedure Advisor in Dispatch also does not support approach procedures, traffic pattern entries, or search and rescue patterns like on the mobile app.

Specific Load Planning

Dial in Dispatch’s time and fuel burn calculations even further with Specific Load planning that offers finer control over crew and passenger weights. Switch between Simple and Specific Load modes using the buttons at the top of the Load section. While Simple mode limits you to a single average weight to be multiplied by the number of people on board, Specific mode breaks out six types of people – Pilots, Cabin Attendants, Males, Females, Children, and Infants – each with their own customizable average weight.

The number of pilots and cabin attendants is automatically carried over from the Crew section, and you can specify the numbers and average weights of the other categories, and the average weights of crew members. The Cargo field and “Use max load” button are also available at the bottom of the Specific Load list.

ForeFlight account administrators can set default weights for all of these categories in the Planning Settings view of Dispatch Settings. These default values are automatically applied to every new flight in Dispatch, but flight planners can still adjust them on a per-flight basis.

Flight Advisories

Dispatch highlights significant NOTAMs and weather affecting airports in your route, such as a closed runway or Low IFR conditions, with Flight Advisories. These automatically appear in the Flight Advisories section just above the Route Map, and a red label indicates the current number of advisories to draw attention even when the section is collapsed. Expand the section to view the individual advisories, and click the highlighted text beneath each one to view relevant details, such as weather and NOTAM information.

New Operational Rules: Call Sign & Aircraft Type

Automatically add a call sign to any flight that meets certain criteria, including the assigned aircraft’s type code. All operational rules are accessible in the Operational Rules tab in Dispatch Settings. Select the Call Sign rule type and enter the call sign to be applied, then use the Departure, Destination, Tail Number, and/or Aircraft Type fields on the right to set the criteria for when to apply the call sign. The criteria may involve all four fields, or only one or two. Any flight that meets the criteria will have the call sign automatically added in the Flight Edit view, although you can remove or change this call sign manually on a per-flight basis. Click Add to associate that call sign with the criteria, then enter additional call signs or click “Add rule” on the right to finalize and implement the new operational rule, which appears in the list below.

Date/Time Format Settings

Customize how Dispatch displays dates and times to suit your flight department. ForeFlight account administrators can access these settings at the top of the Planning Settings page in Dispatch Settings. The “Date format” setting determines whether Dispatch displays dates using the US format (Month/Day/Year) or the International format (Day/Month/Year). The “Time zone format” setting determines whether Dispatch displays time zones using the abbreviated local names (e.g. EDT, CST, CEST, ect.) or using an offset from GMT (e.g. GMT-6, GMT+3, etc.).

API Improvements and API Release History

The ForeFlight team is constantly enhancing Dispatch’s APIs to offer greater flexibility and efficiency when importing newly-scheduled flights and sharing flight information with other applications. The most notable recent improvement is the API Console, a new tab just to the right of Settings where Dispatch administrators can access API Keys (previously included in the Settings tab) and the new Request History page. Request History provides a detailed view into the automated requests and responses sent via Dispatch’s API, allowing you to easily check on the health of your integrations and investigate any issues that arise. Learn more about Request History and the API Console tab in the Dispatch guide.

Although these behind-the-scenes improvements are less visible than regular new features, they can offer just as much value to those who understand and utilize them. To that end, we’ve created an API Release History page on ForeFlight’s website that provides details on all major API improvements and when they were implemented. And don’t forget that the entire Dispatch API specification is available on Swagger.

Daily/Hourly Forecasts, Parachute Jump Areas, and more in ForeFlight 12.11

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ForeFlight 12.11 brings Daily/Hourly Forecasts for an all-purpose look at the weather, Parachute Jump Areas and Airport Hotspot details on the Aeronautical Map, and more.

Daily/Hourly Forecasts

Get a detailed 10 day, hour-by-hour forecast for anywhere in the world for flight planning or just keeping tabs on daily weather.

Daily/Hourly Forecasts are available with all ForeFlight subscription plans except for the discontinued Legacy Basic ($74.99) and Legacy Pro ($149.99) plans for individuals.

You can access Daily Forecasts from the Daily tab in the Airport Weather view, which provides a tappable summary of each day’s forecast; 

from the Add to Route popup after tap-holding anywhere on the map; 

from the Nearby Airports list in the top-right corner of the Airports view, which shows the forecast for your current location; 

and from ForeFlight’s Quick Actions list after tap-holding on the app icon, which provides an even faster shortcut to view your local forecast.

The Forecast window is divided into three rows: Daily Forecasts at the bottom, Hourly Forecasts in the middle, and Hourly Forecast details at the top. The row of Daily Forecasts provides graphical depictions of each day’s general weather, as well as daily temperature ranges. The multi-colored band along the very bottom of this row depicts changes in flight category throughout each day, with green, blue, red, and magenta representing VFR, marginal VFR, IFR, and low IFR, respectively. Tap on any Daily Forecast to automatically scroll to it in Hourly Forecasts and select a morning forecast period.

The row of Hourly Forecasts in the middle provides more details about each forecast period in its own column. Tap on each column to view complete details about it and highlight the appropriate cell in the Daily Forecasts row. 

The timestamp in the top-right corner of the window shows how long ago the entire 10-day forecast was downloaded. When you Pack for a flight ForeFlight downloads the latest Daily Forecasts for any airports included in your route, which you can then view offline for up to 24 hours after packing.

ForeFlight also uses Daily and Hourly Forecasts to improve the accuracy of Takeoff and Landing Performance calculations, which are available with ForeFlight Performance plans. When other sources of weather like METARs, TAFs, or MOS forecasts are unavailable for a given airport or time, the text just below the Weather section states that “general forecast data” is being used, which ForeFlight derives from the Daily and Hourly Forecasts.

Parachute Jump Areas

View Parachute Jump Areas in the US directly on the Aeronautical Map and tap-hold on them to view additional information. 

Tap Details in the Add to Route popup to view a PJA’s information, including its name, associated airport or aerodrome, upper and lower altitude limits, active hours, and more. You can disable PJAs using the Parachute Area switch in Map Settings > Airspace, or by disabling all airspace.

Airport Hotspot Details

Tap on airport hotspots on the Aeronautical Map to view each one’s description so you can be better prepared for taxi.

The hotspot popup includes each one’s name, airport, and a description of the hotspot with any remarks. If there are multiple overlapping hotspots where you tapped, a disambiguation popup allows you to choose which hotspot you want to view information for. 

Recommended Route Constraints: Include Track

Guide ForeFlight’s Recommended Route while planning oceanic flights by requiring it to follow a particular oceanic track using the new “Include Track” Route Constraint. The Recommended Route with Constraints is included in ForeFlight Performance plans.

With Route Advisor open, tap the Constraints button in the top-right to edit constraints, then tap Include Track at the bottom of the list. Switch between westward and eastward tracks using the toggle at the top of the window, and tap any track name from the North Atlantic Tracks or Pacific Organized Track System to select it. 

Tap out of the Constraints view and ForeFlight will attempt to generate a Recommended Route that includes the track you selected. Learn more about Route Constraints for the Recommended Route here. 

Runway Slope Details

ForeFlight now displays a runway’s slope alongside other details in the Airport view’s Runway tab. You can also view Runway Slope in the Airport popup on the Maps view. 

Download and Pack Tweaks

Both the Download and Pack views have improved and consistent interfaces that display the combined size of pending and in-progress downloads. In Downloads, the Pause and Download buttons are now grouped together in the bottom-right corner, while the Delete button is accessible in the top-right corner.

iOS 14.3 and ForeFlight

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Compatibility testing between ForeFlight and iOS/iPadOS 14.3 is complete and we are issuing the “all-clear” to ForeFlight customers. Feel free to update at your convenience. Stay tuned to our company news, Facebook page, or Twitter feed for announcements regarding future updates.

Follow this link to learn how you can check which Apple iOS version you are currently running, and follow this link to learn how you can update your iOS version.

iOS 14.2.1 and ForeFlight

Note: iOS 14.2.1 is available only for the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. This update is not available for other iPhone or iPad models.

Compatibility testing between ForeFlight and iOS 14.2.1 is complete and we are issuing the “all-clear” to ForeFlight customers. Feel free to update at your convenience. Stay tuned to our company news, Facebook page, or Twitter feed for announcements regarding future updates.

Follow this link to learn how you can check which Apple iOS version you are currently running, and follow this link to learn how you can update your iOS version.

Additional Logbook Functionality on ForeFlight Web

Additional Logbook functionality is available on ForeFlight Web, such as the ability to create entries, review logbook settings, manage your Logbook aircraft, and more. 

Log on to plan.foreflight.com and click into the Logbook view on the left, which now provides access to all the familiar features and tabs available on ForeFlight Mobile, including Entries, Drafts & Requests, Logbook Aircraft, and Settings. 

In the Entries view you can manage your logged flights and add new ones. To log a new flight, click the “Create New Entry” button at the top left of the page. Request a signature from your instructor by clicking the “Request Signature” button at the bottom of an entry. 

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In the Drafts & Requests tab of Logbook you can approve draft entries made from Track Logs or filed flight plans, and respond to signature requests from students if you’re a flight instructor. With the Draft Entry Creation setting enabled (Logbook > Settings > Draft Entry Creation), Track Logs or filed flight plans will automatically show up in the Drafts & Entries tab awaiting approval after each flight. 

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In the Logbook Aircraft tab you can manage your Logbook aircraft the same way you would on ForeFlight Mobile. Create new aircraft by clicking “Add Aircraft” or by copying an existing aircraft. You can review individual aircraft entries by searching the tail number or aircraft type in the Entries view, 

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Logbook on Web also has a Settings tab that syncs settings across your devices, allowing you to log the same way on your computer and mobile devices. Choose your entry time format, select the standard fields you want to see in your Logbook entries, and create your own custom fields using a wide selection of data types. Totals for most Custom Fields are included in Logbook Reports, which you can also view and export on Web via the Reports tab.

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In the Reports, Import, and Export views, you can still generate reports, import external Logbooks, or export your ForeFlight Logbook. 

Visit plan.foreflight.com/logbook to start logging on your computer today. Learn more about ForeFlight Logbook on foreflight.com/logbook

Cloud Coverage, 3D Traffic, Additional Mountain Peaks, and more in ForeFlight 12.10

ForeFlight 12.10 brings Cloud Coverage Forecasts, Traffic in 3D Airports, additional Mountain Peaks, and more. 


Cloud Coverage Forecasts

Plan to steer clear of clouds at any altitude with the Clouds forecast weather layer. Cloud Coverage Forecasts is available as a map layer for Pro Plus, MFB Plus, and Business Performance plans and above, and it is integrated in Profile View and 3D Preview for Performance Plus subscription plans.

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Clouds uses data from the GFS Cloud Coverage product to provide a global 24-hour forecast of cloud coverage and altitudes. Rather than forecasting the actual positions of clouds, this layer depicts the likely extent of cloud coverage over a given area at the specified time and altitude, with each shade of gray roughly corresponding to standard cloud coverage intensities: few, scattered, broken, and overcast.

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Open the Maps view Layer Selector to find the Clouds layer just beneath the Icing and Turbulence layers. Like the other forecast layers, Clouds uses a time slider and altitude slider to view different forecast periods and altitudes.


Clouds in Profile View and 3D Preview

While the Cloud Coverage Forecast map layer is accessible to all Pro Plus subscribers and above, Performance Plus subscribers can view these forecasts from additional perspectives using Profile View and 3D Preview.

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Tap the Profile View layer selector in the bottom-left of Profile View to enable Clouds. In Profile View, you can see forecasts at multiple altitudes at once, and combine it with either of the Icing and Turbulence layers for an even more informative view of weather along your route. 

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In 3D Preview, select the Clouds layer in the bottom-left to display forecasts at any altitude. 

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Tap the RTE button to only show forecasts at your planned altitude. Like other weather layers in 3D Preview, the status bar in the top-left indicates the forecast intensity at your current position and altitude, even while viewing forecasts at different altitudes using the altitude slider. Like other forecast layers you can download Clouds for offline reference by Packing before your flight.

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3D Airport Traffic

Follow live approaches, landings, and takeoffs in 3D with FlightAware-sourced Internet Traffic in 3D Airports, available with Performance Plus and Business Performance subscription plans.

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To display 3D Traffic, open any airport in 3D and tap the Layer Selector button in the bottom-left and tap Traffic. This layer uses the same FlightAware-sourced data as the overhead map’s Traffic layer. 

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Traffic targets appear as blue diamonds and display their altitude and tail number if nearby, becoming progressively smaller the further away they are. Tap on any traffic target to reveal its flight path from the time you opened 3D View or enabled the Traffic layer.

Since ForeFlight interpolates aircraft movement based on discontinuous position reports, an aircraft’s immediate flight path may appear to shift in response to new position data. 3D View will only show Internet Traffic, not ADS-B Traffic, so an internet connection is required to use it. Unlike the overhead map layer, 3D View does not depict ground traffic, although aircraft on the ground may still appear depending on their speed and other factors.


Additional Mountain Peak Markers

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ForeFlight’s High Resolution Basemap displays more mountain peak markers near terminal areas and elsewhere for enhanced hazard awareness. Zooming the map into any terminal area will reveal all peaks and associated altitudes within 15nm of the airport, and zooming into any mountainous region will display a greater number of peaks as well.

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Download the High Resolution Basemap for different regions around the world in More > Downloads. Enable mountain peaks in Map Settings (gear icon at the top of the Maps view) > Terrain > Peaks, Passes, and Cables.


Airport Terrain Information

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Quickly get a sense of the terrain variations near an airport by tapping the new Terrain button in the Airport Summary view. The Terrain button appears just to the right of the airport’s taxiway thumbnail on the Airports view or in the airport popup elsewhere in the app. The button only appears for airports in mountainous areas to indicate the presence of major terrain features.

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Tap the button to view the maximum and minimum terrain elevations within 10nm of the airport, as well as the airport elevation.


New Street & Aerial Map Styles

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Both the Street Map and Aerial Map layers have improved styling to help you better identify features on the map. The Aerial Map has more prominent street and place labels, while the Street Map uses a new style that continues showing topographical information even at very high zoom levels. Both map layers require an internet connection to view. 

iOS/iPadOS 14.2 and ForeFlight

Compatibility testing between ForeFlight and iOS/iPadOS 14.2 is complete and we are issuing the “all-clear” to ForeFlight customers. Feel free to update at your convenience. Stay tuned to our company news, Facebook page, or Twitter feed for announcements regarding future updates.

Follow this link to learn how you can check which Apple iOS version you are currently running, and follow this link to learn how you can update your iOS version.

New ScratchPad Templates in ForeFlight 12.9

ForeFlight 12.9 brings new Takeoff, Landing, and Holding ScratchPad templates for a convenient place to record important flight information. 

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In the ScratchPad view, tap the Plus button in the top right to start filling out a new template. 

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The Takeoff ScratchPad template reserves space for you to note information relevant to your departure such as airport, wind, visibility, expected runway, additional marks, and more. 

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The Landing ScratchPad template lets you record your V-speeds, clearance, elevation, runway information, ATIS, and more. 

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Record holding instructions such as direction, radial, turn direction, altitude, and expected further clearance with the Holding ScratchPad template.

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ScratchPads sync between all of your devices and propagate instantly, allowing for convenient access from any mobile device. If you have a Performance Plus subscription, you can attach a ScratchPad to a Flight by opening a ScratchPad and tapping the “Send To” button (in the top right) > “Attach To Flights”.

iOS/iPadOS 14.1 and ForeFlight

Compatibility testing between ForeFlight and iOS/iPadOS 14.1 is complete and we are issuing the “all-clear” to ForeFlight customers. Feel free to update at your convenience. Stay tuned to our company news, Facebook page, or Twitter feed for announcements regarding future updates.

Follow this link to learn how you can check which Apple iOS version you are currently running, and follow this link to learn how you can update your iOS version.

Additional Aeronautical Map Waypoints, Commercial Progress Reports, and more in ForeFlight 12.8

ForeFlight 12.8 includes additional Aeronautical Map Waypoints, Commercial Progress Reports in Logbook, the ability to designate Technically Advanced Aircraft in Logbook, and more.

Additional Aeronautical Map Waypoints

ForeFlight’s Aeronautical Map now displays many types of waypoints not associated with any airway, including off-route intersections, oceanic waypoints, and others.

The new waypoints are included in both the High and Low Airspace layers in Map Settings (cog button in the Maps View) > Airways, and appear when either layer is enabled.

Disabling all airways from the Map Settings menu or the Quick Toggle bar on the left will also hide all off-airway waypoints.

Commercial Progress Report in Logbook

Track your progress towards your Commercial ASEL checkride with this auto-filled PDF report based on the FAA’s requirements outlined in FAR Part 61.

ForeFlight uses details from your logged flights in different aircraft to indicate your progress in each of the requirements, adding a green check mark to each once you complete it. Tap the Send To button while viewing the report to email or print it. Access the new report in Logbook > Reports.

TAA Setting for Logbook Aircraft

Designate “Technically Advanced Aircraft” in ForeFlight’s Logbook to log time in these aircraft in accordance with the FAA’s newly-widened definition. Flights in a TAA-designated aircraft may be logged in lieu of, or in combination with, flights in a complex or turbine-powered airplane to satisfy certain training requirements.

Access the TAA switch for any aircraft in Logbook > Aircraft. Generate a Commercial Progress report in Logbook to view your logged TAA hours.

This article from AOPA has more information on Technically Advanced Aircraft.

PDC via Honeywell

If you are a customer of Honeywell datalink services you can now receive mobile pre-departure clearances (PDC) for your filed flight plans via email and text. Mobile PDC is available with ForeFlight Performance plans.

Mobile PDC delivery is available at over 70 major U.S. airports, allowing you to skip the clearance calls and get the runway faster.

Visit plan.foreflight.com/aircraft to enable mobile PDC via ForeFlight for any aircraft on your account. Visit our support page for frequently asked questions about PDC as well as a list of airports that support PDC.