Pre-flight info – isn’t there an app for that?
It’s hard to imagine another place on this earth with a more thriving General Aviation (GA) community than right here in New Zealand. At any given time there are hundreds of recreational and commercial GA aircraft buzzing around in our airspace. If you’ve lucky enough to have attended events like Warbirds over Wanaka or the Walsh Flying School in Matamata, you’ll know that New Zealand’s passion for aviation is strong in our blood.
So it’s not surprising to learn that within our own ranks at Airways there are numerous ‘avgeeks’ active in the GA community, flying aircraft and gliders and enjoying this pastime outside of their working life.
Some of these ‘avgeeks’ – Airways’ own software developers – put their thinking caps on recently about how we could provide further value to our GA community based on what they’ve been asking us for. In response to feedback from GA user groups such as AOPA, about the need for pilots to access up-to-date pre-flight information on a mobile device, our team got to work and in their own time developed the concept of a mobile app. It’s a bit like IFIS for mobile.
The app, developed for use on tablets and mobile phones, will be a mobile extension of the IFIS website. It’s being developed for non-commercial GA pilots and won’t have all of the functionality of IFIS, but it will be a huge step forward in terms of providing pilots with the info they need while on the go and enhancing their safety in the process.
Our team has been working with the Civil Aviation Authority, Metservice and GroupEAD during the app development and they’re now in the final stages of developing the first release of the app. We’ll be taking a phased approach with the release of this app and later releases will have greater functionality as it evolves, like more detailed weather information through Sigmet.
We’ll shortly be asking representatives from the GA community to help us refine and test the first release. This is important and your feedback is crucial so we can develop an app that fully meets the community’s needs.
Watch this space – the first release of the IFIS mobile app is coming to you soon!