Mitre is working with ForeFlight to research how mobile devices can be used to transmit IFR clearances at airports not equipped with Pre-Departure Clearance/Data Comm Clearance (PDC/DCL). Under the Mitre research, ForeFlight is helping to facilitate the delivery of text-based IFR clearance information.
The research is designed to evaluate methods and benefits of implementing a low-cost clearance-delivery system that could ultimately reduce the need for telephone or radio calls to a Flight Service Station. “We believe this could improve flight plan accuracy, reduce both pilot and controller workload, and reduce delays at non-towered airports,” ForeFlight said.
Mitre is expected to conduct a series of tests from about May 15 through July 29 at Manassas Regional Airport (KHEF) in Virginia and has invited ForeFlight customers to participate. The service is available to pilots who routinely file IFR flight plans through Foreflight for KHEF departures.
Under the trials, participants will file a flight plan with ForeFlight and then would receive expected clearance information via an email from ForeFlight 30 minutes before departure. Trial participants must still contact ATC to receive a traditional clearance. ForeFlight notes that the email information does not constitute an actual clearance and adds the tests are designed to be transparent to ATC.
After the flight, participants will provide feedback through Mitre’s website on whether the emailed clearance information matched the clearance provided directly from ATC. Mitre will use feedback from this round of trials to make adjustments in future tests.