Under a new strategic alliance, pilots across all segments of aviation will eventually have access to Jeppesen charts and data on ForeFlight Mobile and software-based navigation capabilities within Jeppsen’s FliteDeck Pro. The world’s largest provider of airport charts and flight navigation data and the fastest growing tablet-based aviation software provider held a joint press conference Thursday to announce their new alliance.
Ken Sain, COO for Jeppesen, and Tyson Weihs, co-founder and CEO of ForeFlight, say the new alliance is not a merger or an acquisition, but rather a way for both companies to merge the best parts of their digital aviation capabilities moving forward. Over the next year, pilots with subscriptions to ForeFlight and Jeppesen’s mobile and web-based applications will see a staggered introduction of new capabilities inside each application.
Initially, the two main areas of focus for both companies will be ForeFlight Mobile and Jeppesen FliteDeck Pro. According to Weihs, the next update to ForeFlight will feature access to global navigational, terrain and obstacle data.
Secondly, the alliance will focus on integrating ForeFlight capabilities into Jeppesen’s FliteDeck Pro application.
Jeppesen charts will be available in ForeFlight Mobile later this year, and a joint product for airlines and other large-scale users will be available in Q1 2018.
Some of the new integrated capabilities under the combined application functionality will include “in-flight fuel calculations, alternate planning” and “the ability to look at SIDs and STARS and how those connect,” as noted by Weihs.
Both companies will also look to exploit Jeppesen’s existing integration into cockpit front panel-mounted avionics, said Weihs.
“As users are pushing and pulling flight plans, they’re doing that with a common data set, both on your mobile device and in your front of panel avionics,” he said.
According to Jeppesen’s Rick Ellerbrock, more than 150,000 professional pilots worldwide use Jeppesen FliteDeck Pro, and the company delivers more than 30 TB of data monthly to more than 300,000 tablet electronic flight bags.
Regarding access to the new capabilities in each app, general aviation pilots will be able to choose between Jeppesen Mobile FliteDeck and ForeFlight Mobile as their preferred cockpit solution. Subscribers to ForeFlight Business Plans will purchase chart coverages through Jeppesen and then link them to their ForeFlight subscription for use inside the ForeFlight Mobile app, according to Jeppesen.
Jeppesen also notes that ForeFlight subscribers on individual plans will be able to link their Jeppesen license in ForeFlight Mobile and purchase standard worldwide Jeppesen charts for use inside the app through foreflight.com. Subscribers to ForeFlight Business Plans will purchase chart coverages through Jeppesen and then link them to their ForeFlight subscription for use inside the ForeFlight Mobile app.
As the fusion between the two companies continues to evolve, leadership within both brands will continue to explore what new capabilities they can continue to introduce.
“We’ve created a backlog of a number of different features and functionality, the first wireframe designs. Today we’re reviewing working software with our maps and ForeFlight user experience. We have a customer advisory board where we look at all the different features of that application,” said Sain.