Because air traffic controllers are increasingly making traffic separation decisions based upon an aircraft’s global navigation satellite system (GNSS) capability–or lack thereof–the FAA has begun updating aircraft equipment suffixes for traffic operating in U.S. domestic airspace. For instance, a GNSS-equipped aircraft may now fly a random route without the need for ATC radar monitoring, where previously radar was always required.
Rockwell Collins (Booth No. 9806) announced at NBAA 2013 enhancements to its Ascend Flight Manager app for the iPad that enables performance-based fight planning and dynamic flight tracking for Regional Trip Support subscribers. The Ascend Flight Manager app is now available at the Apple App Store.
Colt International (Booth No. C8526), provider of trip support and aviation fuel services, unveiled its new online flight-planning (OFP) product Monday at the NBAA convention.
The OFP is a data- and graphics-rich tool that draws from Google Maps and Google Earth to provide flight details such as route, altitude and weather in 3-D. Graphical information is presented alongside key data, including regulatory requirements, fuel quotes and airport information.
Any flight-planning product called RocketRoute (Booth No. C9430, N1216) ought to be quick, and company co-founders Kurt Lyall, Justin Coelho and Uwe Nitsche promise that their IFR flight planner can create even the most complicated international routings fast, all through the wonder of clean sheet software and cloud-based processing.
Online flight-planning service FltPlan.com has launched a completely redesigned website. The new site, which the company said is simplified and easier to navigate, features all the same previous tools, such as weather/notams, airports and FBOs, area fuel prices, nearby airports, quick trip information, digital charts, and aircraft tracking. This is the first major redesign of FltPlan.com since it started 14 years ago. Pilots create more than five million flight plans annually using FltPlan’s website and apps.
Mercy One helicopter emergency medical services at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa, one of the first HEMS operators certified to fly Waas low-level IFR routes, including approaches to local hospitals, recently added a second Waas-capable Bell 429 to its fleet. These IFR routes keep helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft from mixing in IFR airspace. Three of the hospital helipad approaches are Waas-based while another is an approach to a helipad in Stuart, Iowa, that is used as a rendezvous for helicopters and ground ambulances from surrounding counties.
Flight planning and support group Jetex Flight Support forged a new alliance with Honeywell to jointly offer their flight-planning, aircraft datalink, flight-following and international trip support services, the companies announced today at EBACE.
While it may seem as though Apple iPads are replacing Microsoft Windows-based electronic flight bags (EFBs) in transport category cockpits, that is not the case for Esterline CMC Electronics’ PilotView EFBs. The company is advancing EFB development with its latest product line, the Mk3 EFB, available in 8.4-, 10.4- and 12.1-inch display sizes.
A change in FAA policy that allows the use of GPS approaches at alternate airports should be welcome news for pilots. “Operators are now permitted to file a flight plan for a GPS approach at either the destination or an alternate, but not both,” according to NBAA. The new policy took effect on April 4. Previously pilots could fly GPS approaches only at the destination airport.
Just before Sun ’n Fun Garmin (Booth No. D-034) unveiled a major update to its Garmin Pilot iPad app, dynamic maps drawn from a vector-based mapping database. The new dynamic maps allow for many improvements to Garmin Pilot, chief of which is labels always remaining upright in the new track-up mode as the airplane turns and the maps adjusts to the new direction.