Giant Reports, a colloquial term for a portion of the Airfield Suitability and Runway Report (ASRR), are informational documents created by AMC which are marked For Official Use Only (FOUO), and are exempt from release under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The FOUO designation on Giant Reports currently prevents ForeFlight from organically hosting them within the app, however Military Flight Bag users can still utilize Giant Reports through ForeFlight’s Content Packs feature, available with MFB Performance subscriptions.
Begin by visiting aerodata.nga.mil with your CAC or Disadvantaged User credentials to download the ready-made zip file that is compatible with ForeFlight as-is. Do not rename or unzip the file.
Once uploaded, your Giant Reports can be accessed via More > Custom Content > Content Packs, or by Airports > Procedures > Other.
They can be added to the MISC section of an applicable Flight Binder in the Plates as well.
Note that with the 13.4 Release, ForeFlight implemented logic to automatically flag Giant Reports as Expired when 8 days after the publication date (listed in file title) have elapsed. Your Giant Reports will still be functional, however an Expired banner will advise if you are using a Giant Report that is more than 1 week old.
Some of ForeFlight’s most useful Map features for day-to-day planning and flying have been around for years yet many pilots are still unaware of them, either because they’re hidden away in a settings menu, or their purpose isn’t immediately obvious. Below are ten of those high-value features and settings that may have flown under your radar but that can simplify your planning and flying in powerful ways.
Map Touch Action
This setting is available near the bottom of the Map Settings Menu (gear button in the Maps toolbar) when any raster chart (sectional, IFR high/low, etc.) is enabled. The third option, Bring chart to front with legend, allows you to tap on any chart to reveal its entire border and legend, just like you would see with an actual paper chart. It is useful when a piece of important information, like a frequency, is cut off by the app’s chart stitching or if you don’t want the app to automatically switch to a TAC when you zoom in to a metro area.
Multiple Layer Selections
This setting is just below Map Touch Action in the Map Settings menu. It’s disabled by default, but enabling it makes the Layer Selector stay open after toggling any layer, so you can toggle as many layers as you want without having to go back and open the Layer Selector each time. You can tap anywhere else on the map to close the Layer Selector when done.
Distance Ring Styles
ForeFlight’s Distance Rings default to an Automatic (Distance) setting, showing three concentric rings at different distances, which shrink or expand based on your zoom level. Tap on any of the ring labels to select from different styles, including fixed distance rings, as well as automatic or fixed time-based rings, which show how far you’ll travel in a given amount of time based on your current ground speed.
These settings are also available in More > Settings > Distance Rings Style.
Current Location Marker
Why use a generic airplane icon to represent your position on the map when you could instead use an F-22? ForeFlight has many location marker icons covering low-wings, high-wings, business jets, military aircraft, and helicopters. A secondary benefit of some of these icons is that they are much larger and easier to find on the map than the default aircraft icon. You can find this setting in More > Settings > Current Location Marker.
Auto Center Deactivate
You can tap the button in the top right corner of Maps to automatically center the map on your location. However, it can be easy to lose track of where you are by accidentally swiping on the map, which by default will deactivate Auto Center and move the map away from your aircraft icon. If this is a persistent problem, you can change the Auto Center Deactivate setting to Manual to lock the map to your position until you tap the Auto Center button again to unlock it. You can find this setting in More > Settings > Auto Center Deactivate.
Track Log Record Button
ForeFlight’s Auto-track Logging feature is a great way to record your flights without having to remember to start and stop the recording, but it doesn’t always work perfectly and sometimes captures too much information before takeoff or after landing (like your drive home). The Track Log Edit feature allows you to trim your track logs to mitigate these issues, but the most reliable way of getting good track logs from the start is by manually starting and stopping the recordings. You can do this by tapping the REC button on the left side of the Maps view, which turns blue when the recording is in progress.
You may not consistently remember to do this, however, so we recommend you include this as a step in your preflight and postflight checklists, which is an easy addition if you are using ForeFlight’s built-in Checklist feature. You can enable the manual start/stop button in Map Settings > Track Log Record Button.
When flying cross-country VFR you might decide to detour from the simple route you planned. By the time you’re ready to return to the planned route, you’re way off course. To update the remainder of the route to reflect your current position, tap the next waypoint in your route and tap Direct To in the top left of the Maps Sidebar. ForeFlight clears the entire route up to that point and replaces it with a direct line from your current position. Direct To does not change any part of your route after the selected waypoint, only the route legs before that point. You can also access Direct To by tapping any of your route’s waypoints in the Bubble Editor or tapping the right-facing arrow next to the waypoint name in the FPLNavLog.
Revising the previous example, let’s say you didn’t take a big detour but instead cut a corner between route legs. If you do this early enough, you might notice the route colors not updating to show your current, past, and future legs. Even worse, you look at ForeFlight’s Instrument Panel and see the ETE to Dest. time increasing, even as your distance to the destination is decreasing. By cutting the corner early, you confused ForeFlight into thinking that you did not complete the leg you were on, so its ETE calculation assumes that you’re going to fly back to the waypoint you skipped before continuing.
Instead of being stuck with unrealistic ETE estimates for the rest of the flight, tap the next leg in the route (the one you’re currently on, after cutting the corner) and tap Fly Leg. ForeFlight immediately updates the route colors to show your current leg as active, and the up-counting ETE problem disappears. You can also access this feature from the Bubble Editor by tapping the arrow buttons in the NavLog.
Airspace Auto Highlight
ForeFlight’s Profile View feature with airspace depictions is a great way to check if your planned route or current heading will intersect the airspace you would prefer to avoid, but it isn’t the only way to accomplish this. The Auto Highlight feature (accessible in Map Settings > Airspace > Auto Highlight) dims most airspace, decreasing the thickness and brightness of the lines that define airspace boundaries. However, it doesn’t dim any airspace that intersects your planned route or current heading, thereby “highlighting” that airspace to make it stand out.
Note that you need to have the Aeronautical Map layer enabled to expose this setting. The dimming/ highlighting only affects that layer’s airspace depictions, so this won’t change how the VFR Sectional, for example, depicts airspace.
The Send To button is one of the most important things in ForeFlight. It’s the final piece of the puzzle that turns the app from a collection of isolated features and workflows into a unified whole. This feature’s most obvious use case is sending planned routes from Maps to Flights and vice versa, allowing you to file without building them from scratch in the Flights view. With the new Flight Binders feature in Plates, you can send routes from either Maps or Flights to Plates to instantly select your departure/destination airports and the plates for any procedures in your route.
In addition, you can send routes to Logbook to automatically populate time and distance-based fields and speed up the logging process.You can share a planned route with any other pilot from the Flights tab by entering their email, and the flight will appear on their account if they accept the share. If you want to share the Navlog, Briefing, and ICAO flight plan form as a PDF, you can do so with Share PDF. If you like printing out your procedure plates or airport diagrams to include them with a paper checklist in a clipboard, you can do it by using the Send To button in Plates. So be sure to take a moment to see what options are available in each page’s Send To menu whenever you notice it.
ForeFlight Dispatch just keeps getting better, with dozens of updates this year adding powerful new flight planning and collaboration features for flight departments big and small. Here are our Top 10 new Dispatch features from 2021.
1. Integrated Weight and Balance
In conjunction with its release on ForeFlight Mobile for Business and MFB customers, Dispatch now allows you to integrate weight and balance planning directly with your flight planning after setting up W&B profiles for your aircraft. Access the W&B tab on the Flight page to add passenger and payload details.
2. Integrated Runway Analysis
Dispatch now supports the new Runway Analysis feature for supported jet aircraft that you have purchased a license for. Click the Runway Analysis tab to configure the calculation for takeoff, landing, and alternate landing. Email email@example.com to purchase Runway Analysis licenses for your account.
3. Route Rubberbanding
Manually adjust your route line simply by clicking and dragging it in Dispatch’s route map. Click and drag existing waypoints in your route to substitute them with other waypoints, or click and drag between waypoints to insert a new one. After releasing the line a popup displaying a list of nearby airports, waypoints, and more allows you to select the new route element.
4. New Operational Rules & Improved Interface
Control the details of flight plans across your account with new Operational Rule types available in Settings > Operational Rules.
• Taxi Fuel – Set a default taxi fuel based on a flight’s aircraft, type, or departure airport.
• FBO – Set a default FBO for a particular destination airport. This rule requires you to first select a destination airport to determine which FBOs are available, after which you can select one and/or define additional conditions based on aircraft, type, or departure airport.
• Avoid Country – The Operational Rule equivalent of the new Route Constraint, allowing you to automatically apply the constraint-based on a flight’s departure or destination airport, aircraft, or type. You can also select countries to avoid without specifying any rule parameters to apply the Avoid Country constraint to all flights planned across your account.
Also, the user interface for adding and editing Operational Rules in Dispatch now more clearly defines the available parameters and logical operations, and provides a plain-language preview of the rule for added clarity.
5. Detailed Flight History
The Flight History feature now provides far more detail about what specific changes were made to a flight plan by anyone on your account. Click “Details” to the right of each flight event to see the full list of changes made.
6. Auto Routing
Dispatch’s automation capabilities take another step forward with the new Auto Route Settings Dispatch’s automation capabilities take another step forward with the new Auto Route Settings section in the Automation Settings tab. When enabled, Dispatch will automatically assign an optimized route to new flights that do not yet have a route. An additional setting allows you to define how many hours before ETD a route should be generated and assigned to a given flight plan.
7. Airspace & Country Crossings
View and export a detailed list of all airspaces and countries your route crosses with the Airspace Crossings tool, available in the Route Tools dropdown at the top of the Route Builder page. By View and export a detailed list of all airspaces and countries your route crosses with the Airspace Crossings tool, available in the Route Tools dropdown at the top of the Route Builder page. By default, this highlights all airspaces your route passes through on the map and displays the complete list of airspace crossings on the left, with details like time en route, lat/long positions, waypoints (if the crossing is associated with one), and more. Click the toggle in the top-right to enter Country mode, which similarly highlights all countries your route crosses on the map and displays crossing details on the left.
8. Dispatcher Notes
Flight planners can now provide pilots with custom notes containing relevant flight information via the NaFlight planners can now provide pilots with custom notes containing relevant flight information. The “Dispatcher Notes” field in the ATC Data tab and the Flight Release confirmation window supports up to 5000 characters that will be automatically included in both the Navlog and email sent to crew members when the flight is released.
9. Per-Flight Navlog Selection
Rather than enforcing the same Navlog template for every flight on your account, Dispatch now Rather than enforcing the same Navlog template for every flight on your account, Dispatch now allows flight planners to manually select any Navlog template – either Standard, International, or a custom-built template – while editing a flight. The Navlog shared with crew members will use the selected template when the flight is released.
10. Turbulence Avoidance
Enable cutting-edge new features prior to their general release by enabling the Preview Features sEnable cutting-edge new features before their general release by enabling the Preview Features setting at the bottom of the Planning Settings page. Preview features are marked with a red “Preview” label. The first Preview Feature, Turbulence Avoidance, is a new option in the Route Builder that causes Dispatch to attempt to avoid either moderate and severe or only severe turbulence as it generates the Recommended Route.
Our November release includes new tappable airport markers in 3D Preview and 3D Review, allowing you to easily see and learn about airports along a planned or recorded flight.
With a route entered in the FPL Editor, tap the 3D Preview icon just to the left of the Pack button.
Airports near your departure airport will be visible right away and more will appear as you play through the planned flight. The style of each marker matches that airport’s icon on the Aeronautical Map layer to indicate the presence of a control tower, fuel availability, etc.
ForeFlight also filters which types of airports are marked in 3D View based on your Aeronautical Map Airport settings, available in Map Settings > Airports (Aeronautical Map must be enabled for the Airports menu to appear), so disabling heliports, seaplane bases, or private airports on the Aeronautical Map will also hide them in 3D View.
Tap any airport marker to open an information sidebar with details about the airport like on the Maps view.
3D Review also displays airport markers while playing back previous flights from recorded track logs, allowing you to see what airports you passed during your flight. Access 3D Review for a track log by tapping More > Track Logs and selecting a track log to view, then tapping the 3D button in the bottom-right corner.
Airport markers in 3D are automatically enabled by default. To disable them, open the Layer Selector in the bottom-left corner of either 3D Preview or 3D Review and tap Airports at the top of the list. Airport markers are not currently supported in the point-based 3D Airports or 3D Anywhere features, only in the route-based 3D Preview and 3D Review.
ForeFlight’s 3D suite with new airport markers is available with ForeFlight Performance Plus plans.
Our September release features support for Profile View on iPhone, a layer selector for the Track Log Review flight metrics, and support for additional aircraft types in Runway Analysis.
Profile View on iPhone
Profile View is now supported on iPhone, giving you a side-on view of your route along with terrain, obstacles, airspace, and forecast weather.
To support narrower iPhone screens, route metrics like Highest Point, Clearance, and First Strike have moved to a new row above Profile View, along with the toggles for Route and Flight mode that appear during a flight.
The Profile settings menu also moved to directly below Profile View, just to the right of the Profile layer selector.
See how Profile View on iPhone compares to the view on iPad below.
Profile View is included in Pro Plus subscription plans and above, while forecast weather in Profile View is included in ForeFlight Performance subscription plans.
Track Log Review Layer Selector
A small update to the Track Log Review interface combines the four flight data buttons (Speed, Altitude, Pitch, and Bank) into a single layer selector in the bottom-left of the Track Log Graph.
You can display Pitch and Bank in Track Log Review for improved maneuver debriefing by flying with an AHRS-capable receiver like Sentry.
New Runway Analysis Aircraft Support
ForeFlight’s Runway Analysis product for jets now supports the following new aircraft models:
GPS Data via Honeywell Apex & Aspen Connected Gateway
Pilatus pilots who fly with a Honeywell Apex FMS and Aspen Connected Gateway can now receive GPS position, ground speed, and track in ForeFlight, building on the support for flight plan transfer from ForeFlight to Honeywell Apex released earlier this year.
The integration with Honeywell’s Apex FMS is available with ForeFlight Performance subscription plans.
Our August release features a new capability to select from multiple climb and descent performance profiles, multiple climb and descent performance profiles for some aircraft, and more aircraft types supported for Runway Analysis!
Edit Climb & Descent Performance Profiles
Increase the accuracy of time and fuel calculations by adjusting climb and descent performance profiles to suit your aircraft’s actual performance.
Each aircraft type that supports built-in ForeFlight Performance Profiles has climb, cruise, and descent profiles based on manufacturer data. Previously, only cruise profiles supported biasing of time and fuel flow. Now, climb and descent profiles support biasing of time and fuel, giving you more control over how ForeFlight calculates these factors for every flight.
Tap into the Performance Profile menu from the Aircraft, Flights, or Maps views to see a list of all climb, cruise, and descent profiles for the selected aircraft. Tap the Details button or the profile itself to access the bias adjustments.
Multiple Climb & Descent Performance Profiles
In addition to the ability to bias climb and descent profiles, a number of popular jet aircraft now also support multiple climb and descent profiles.
Several dozen aircraft models from Bombardier, Dassault, Embraer, and Gulfstream provide multiple climb and descent profiles in ForeFlight. Each is built using manufacturer-sourced data in accordance with the profiles in each aircraft’s Pilot’s Operating Handbook.
The “Apply Bias to All Climb/Descent Profiles” button within each profile’s details view allows you to quickly apply one profile’s bias values to all other climb or descent profiles for that aircraft.
New Runway Analysis Aircraft Support
ForeFlight’s Runway Analysis product for jets now supports Gulfstream’s GV, GVII-G600, and G450, and Bombardier’s Learjet 60XR and 35A. See the full list of supported aircraft types here.
Runway Analysis is available for a growing list of aircraft types and can be purchased alongside a ForeFlight Performance subscription plan.
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 lasttwo 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Account administrators can view and delete any saved routes on the account in the Saved Routes tab of the Dispatch Settings menu.
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.
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.
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.
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.