Flight Services has seen significant modernization over the past few years, drawing on feedback from pilots and advocacy by AOPA. Since advocating for a modernized system in advance of the FAA flight services contract award in 2005, AOPA has represented the pilot community in monthly meetings with Lockheed Martin Flight Services officials and the FAA to communicate user needs and further refine the system used for preflight briefing, and in-flight weather updates and other services.
The result is a wide range of new capabilities that will be covered in detail during a Feb. 4 webinar at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, hosted by AOPA. Members can sign up for the webinar here.
New capabilities include adverse weather alerts specific to a flight plan, and surveillance-enhanced search-and-rescue capabilities. Pilots can now register SpiderTracks GPS-based position reporting devices with the Flight Services Pilot Portal, and have peace of mind knowing search and rescue will be initiated immediately if the device stops moving short of the planned destination (or if an SOS is transmitted).
Pilots also now have the ability to activate and close flight plans via a hyperlink in an email. Online briefings have been improved, along with electronic integration among devices used in the modern cockpit.
The webinar will also cover upgrades still to come.