Oshkosh 2011: Easy Fuel-price App Coming From GlobalAir.com

 - July 25, 2011, 7:25 AM

GlobalAir.com’s new fuel-price app for the Apple iPad/iPhone delivers up-to-date avgas and jet-A prices in a simple and intuitive format. Unlike many other aviation apps that try to cram in as many features as possible, FBO Fuel Prices has only one purpose: to help you find the lowest 100LL and jet-A prices at airports in the U.S.

The app, which should be in Apple’s App Store shortly, sells for $3.99. You can search for airports using airport IDs or by city and state. A range selector lets you see fuel prices at nearby airports.

After the user enters an airport, the app outputs a list of airports within the selected range, including the lowest price at each airport, as well as its longest runway, the distance from the selected airport and whether the fuel is full or self-serve. The airports appear in a two formats on a split screen. The top shows a Google map with push-pin symbols next to each airport. You can touch the pin to pull up that airport’s information. The bottom of the split screen shows the listed airports.

The list itself is a handy feature–you can quickly see that flying an extra 10 miles from a major metropolitan airport will save you in dollars per gallon. Touch the airport, and the next screen shows the FBOs at the airport and their fuel prices, including the last date that prices were updated. Each FBO has a contact button so you can email the FBO with arrival plans or questions about services, ramp fees and so on.

Once you select an airport, you can click a “Show more about this airport” button that pulls up GlobalAir.com’s web page for that airport. This provides access to current weather data, charts and a wealth of information in GlobalAir.com’s airport resource center.

While FBO Fuel Prices needs to connect to the Internet to update the data and to connect to the Airport Resource Center, the app’s developer clearly made it work offline, too. As long as you update the data before you take off, you can use FBO Fuel Prices in the air to pick a reasonably priced destination. Howecer, unless you have airborne Internet access via Aircell’s GoGo Biz or satcom, you won’t be able to email FBOs or use the show more information feature.

GlobalAir currently has more than 2,100 FBOs updating their prices regularly and listed in the airport resource center and the FBO Fuel Prices app. FBOs that aren’t signed up with GlobalAir.com won’t show up in the app.

FBO Fuel Prices delivers what it promises in a well-designed package. While fuel prices are available on most iPad flight planning apps (usually for an extra annual fee), GlobalAir.com’s app makes the process simple.