Get the latest news on coronavirus impacts on general aviation, including what AOPA is doing to protect GA, event cancellations, advice for pilots to protect themselves, and more. Read More
Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today

ForeFlight shows FlightAware trackingForeFlight shows FlightAware tracking

Preflight planning with real-time air trafficPreflight planning with real-time air traffic

The next time you open ForeFlight, you’ll be able to see a real-time view of air traffic in the pattern at your local airport—or any other airport you’re curious about.

ForeFlight will look and act pretty much the same whether users are viewing it on iPads or iPhones. Image courtesy of ForeFlight.

ForeFlight and FlightAware, two of the most popular and inventive aviation app makers, have teamed up to provide live global traffic to ForeFlight subscribers. The new feature is part of ForeFlight version 12.4 released May 26.

ForeFlight also added multitasking, which allows customers to run a second app side by side with ForeFlight on their iPhones and iPads.

FlightAware was one of the first apps to scan airborne traffic and offer free flight tracking via the internet. The company has a large and growing network of ADS-B receivers at airports and also shows the position of aircraft on the ground, and it gives clients a comprehensive view of aviation activity in the United States  and in other countries.

“We’re very excited to have live, global, FlightAware traffic on ForeFlight,” said Tyson Weihs, cofounder of ForeFlight. “On the ground, people will be able to see what’s going on in their local traffic pattern, and explore how aircraft are flying around weather.”

Seeing FlightAware traffic information “bridges the gap” between preflight planning and pilots collecting traffic and weather information from their avionics in flight.

“It’s great for situational awareness (on the ground),” said Daniel Baker, FlightAware founder and chief executive. “It combines the power of these two great applications.”

ForeFlight subscription prices are unchanged, and all subscribers will have access to the FlightAware traffic information.

Baker said U.S. general aviation activity dropped about 20 percent during the height of the coronavirus pandemic while corporate and airline flying dropped 70 percent or more. Corporate flying is currently down about 50 percent, and Baker said he expects business aviation to rise as domestic and international airlines impose long-term capacity cuts.

“Many charter aircraft are flying more than they were before,” Baker said. “They’re seeing first-time charter customers—and I suspect we’re going to see a surge in demand for light jets and turboprops. GA is well positioned to pick up the slack.”

Weihs said ForeFlight customers filed as many IFR flight plans last week as they did during the same period last year.

“April 6 was the bottom,” he said. “The light end of GA has turned upward much more quickly than the turbine and business jet market.”

Dave Hirschman

Dave Hirschman

AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Dave Hirschman joined AOPA in 2008. He has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates. Dave flies vintage, historical, and Experimental airplanes and specializes in tailwheel and aerobatic instruction.
Topics: Technology, Gear, Apps

Related Articles