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ForeFlight’s pace of innovation quickened during pandemic

ForeFlight has accelerated its pace of innovation and made scores of upgrades to its app during the coronavirus pandemic despite its far-flung workforce working remotely.

Enhancements to the 3D Preview feature allow users to view weather and "follow an approach's glideslope all the way to the runway." Image courtesy of ForeFlight.

Two years after being bought by aerospace giant Boeing Co., ForeFlight officials say they’re still committed to the general aviation market where the pioneering company began in 2007.

“Our heart and soul remain the same,” said Stephen Newman, ForeFlight executive vice president for global sales and marketing. “The [Boeing] acquisition didn’t change the trajectory of where we were going. It strengthened us . . . and our growth continues unabated.”

ForeFlight began as an iOS-based flight planning app, and it’s made iPhones and iPads essential in-cockpit tools for airline, corporate, and military flight crews around the world. ForeFlight has made more than 100 upgrades to its app in the past two years, and it’s focused on streamlining the process for filing and obtaining IFR clearances digitally.

Instead of relying on telephone calls and radio communications, ForeFlight is pushing for the broad use of clearances that can be obtained online, then uploaded to cockpit avionics wirelessly. The process has been shown to be far faster and more accurate.

ForeFlight says it will be at EAA AirVenture 2021 “in force.”

“We’re celebrating the return of in-person aviation gatherings,” Newman said.

The 3D Airports view includes "true-to-life runway lights," as well as live traffic with an active internet connection. Image courtesy of ForeFlight. For users with Performance plans, ForeFlight now offers markers for approach minimums and enhanced labels for individual approach fixes. Image courtesy of ForeFlight. Users can view and search for ground and air traffic via FlightAware and follow ground-based points of reference using ForeFlight's Basemap. Image courtesy of ForeFlight. The updates include global daily and hourly weather forecasts. Image courtesy of ForeFlight. For users with Performance plans, ForeFlight now features two new Dynamic Wind Speeds and Temperatures layers. Image courtesy of ForeFlight. For Pro Plans and above, the Hold Advisor helps manage complex patterns. The Multimode Timer feature allows users to time holds and other procedures without leaving the app. Image courtesy of ForeFlight. iPhone users can now use FPL "Bubble" Editor, Plates, and ScratchPads views, and other features previously available only in iPad installations. iPad users can enjoy enhanced multitasking by using ForeFlight with other apps in a split-screen mode. Image courtesy of ForeFlight. The Plate Flight Binder feature allows users to organize all the plates needed for a flight. Image courtesy of ForeFlight. Taxi Routing allows users to "chart a course to or from the runway," and the Airport Hotspots feature improves situational awareness on the ground. Image courtesy of ForeFlight. For users with Performance plans, Profile View enhancements include the ability to layer weather information over terrain, obstacles, and airspace. Image courtesy of ForeFlight.
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: EFB, EAA AirVenture

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