Flight planning your taxi route
What pilot hasn’t had to stop taxiing at an unfamiliar airport long enough to regain his or her bearings and find their way to either the FBO or the active runway without making a mistake that may cost them a slap on the wrist or worse? Even those who take the time to include taxi routes in their meticulous flight planning often get caught by surprise for multiple reasons.
ForeFlight is helping out with that with their brand new taxi route editor. They just opened the editor up for user testing in its new ForeFlight Labs. Users can now chart their way from the FBO to the runway and vice versa. There is now a “Taxi Route” button to open the taxi route feature in the flight plan editing section.
Instructions help the pilot with each step, starting with the starting place on the airport and ending with the desired destination. The taxi routing can include routing from the:
- FBO to the runway
- Runway to runway
- Runway to FBO
- FBO to FBO
Once the start and endpoints are entered, the taxi editor chooses the optimal route and the pilot can zoom in on the airport map to select the points in the clearance. Here’s the best part, if the route crosses a runway, “hold short” and “cross” buttons are automatically offered and the pilot can select which one to use based on the clearance.
After points are selected, the route turns green—no chance for confusion or not knowing exactly where you are. “Back taxi” and “runway taxi” buttons are also available for selection. When the hold short feature is selected, the route turns blue at the runway crossing and then turns red. Once clearance has been received to cross the runway, the pilot touches the “hold short” button, the limit is removed, and the rest of the route turns green.
I can’t wait to try it – I’m one of those pilots who believe in flight planning every detail of the taxi, both to and from the runway, and I love the idea of a green light showing me exactly where to go.