ForeFlight released its first big update for 2023 and it includes a new in-flight airspace alerting feature that pilots of all experience levels will appreciate. The update also includes a few new power-user features, including NOTAM filters, plate/chart binder printing, airport rescue and firefighting information, Honeywell ADG integration and new Runway Analysis aircraft support.
Here’s a quick summary of what’s new in each based on subscription type, with full details included below:
Basic – Airspace alerts, NOTAM filters, plate/binder Printing, and airport rescue and firefighting information
Pro Plus – n/a
Performance Plus – Honeywell ADG Integration, Runway Analysis Support for Hawker Beechcraft 400A and 400XP and Learjet 45 (Code E) and 40 (Code B & C)
One of ForeFlight’s standout features over other aviation EFB apps is its robust alerting system. ForeFlight includes over 15 unique alerts designed to make single pilot flying safer, ranging from terrain/obstacle alerts to calling out nearby traffic when connected to an ADS-B receiver. The latest addition includes new airspace alerts that will provide visual and aural warnings as you approach and enter Class A, B, C or D airspace (Restricted, Prohibited and MOAs are not currently supported).
By default, you’ll receive an alert when 3 minutes away and within 500 feet vertically of one of these sectors of airspace. You can change these criteria though based on your personal preference from the Map screen settings, from 2 to 5 minutes or 1 to 10 NM laterally, and 500 – 5,000′ vertically. You can also enable or disable alerts for individual classes of airspace.
The pop-up alert includes detailed information based on your location, including your distance from the airspace and its vertical dimensions, and the relevant airspace sector will be highlighted in green on the map.
When entering and exiting controlled airspace, ForeFlight will show a smaller alert at the top of the screen:
Here’s one last tip related to alerts. If your headset supports Bluetooth audio, make sure to pair it to your iPad in the cockpit before starting up. This will make sure you never miss an alert during busy times (here’s how to do it).
Another one of ForeFlight’s strengths is making the most of the antiquated NOTAM system for pilots (when it’s operational). Our favorite feature here is the display of NOTAMs on airport diagrams and instrument approach charts, making them hard to overlook. NOTAMs are also prominently displayed in chronological order on the Airports page, but this can often result in a very long list. The latest update adds a new filter option, allowing you to type in a keyword and search the NOTAMs list for specific words or acronyms. For example type in “ILS” to quickly review all the NOTAMs related to ILS approaches, or type in the planned runway number or taxiways to narrow the results down further:
Plate/Chart Binder Printing
The Plates section of ForeFlight organizes all the charts needed for a planned flight in one convenient location, from airport diagrams to departure and instrument procedures. If you prefer to have printed backups of your charts onboard, you’ll find a new Print Binder option that will print all the charts in the current binder with one tap.
When viewing any chart in a binder, simply press the Send To button at the top right of the screen, select Print Binder, and all the selected plates for the departure and destination will be queued up for wireless printing.
Airport Rescue and Firefighting Information
ForeFlight now publishes airport-specific emergency service information in the Details section of the Airports screen: