ForeFlight Mobile offers the ability to display traffic when connected to either the Internet or an ADS-B In receiver. This article will describe how traffic is received and the features of the traffic that is displayed.
ForeFlight Mobile version 12.4 and later offers traffic via FlightAware's Global Traffic feed when connected to a cellular or wireless network. Internet Traffic can be enabled by selecting the Traffic layer from the Map layer selector menu. Internet Traffic allows you to view airborne and ground traffic worldwide at any time on the map. An Internet Traffic label is shown in the top left corner of the map just below the timestamp when receiving traffic over the internet. Airborne traffic targets are teal, and ground-based targets are brown. Tap an Internet traffic target to reveal details about the flight.
NOTE - Internet Traffic is not supported while airborne and connected to a cellular network. Internet Traffic is included with all ForeFlight subscriptions. For additional information about Internet Traffic, visit www.foreflight.com/internet-traffic.
All subscriptions and versions of ForeFlight Mobile support ADS-B traffic when connected to a supported receiver. ADS-B traffic is enabled by default when connected to a receiver and can be disabled/enabled by toggling the Traffic layer in the Maps layer selection menu. ADS-B traffic targets are shown relative to your position, with + or - indicating whether the traffic is above or below you. Airborne traffic targets have a TrafficTrend™ vector projected in front of the arrowhead to indicate the target’s expected position in the next 60 seconds. ADS-B traffic targets are colored-coded brown, teal, yellow, or red.
Traffic Target Coloring
In ForeFlight Mobile 13.0 and later, airborne ADS-B traffic targets are color designated as follows:
- Teal icons are airborne targets.
- Yellow represents traffic targets that are within 2nm and +/-1200 ft. or will be within 45 seconds.
- Red represents traffic targets within 1.3nm and +/-1200 ft. or will be within 25 seconds.
- Brown icons are surface targets.
ForeFlight version 13.0 and later considers each aircraft’s speed and direction of flight relative to your own, allowing ForeFlight to evaluate potential threats more reliably and alert you more quickly.
ForeFlight highlights traffic targets in yellow and then red when their present course will take them within a dangerous distance of your ownship. Red traffic targets that are no longer an immediate hazard will turn yellow for 15 seconds to ensure that you have a chance to see the target on the map.
NOTE - Prior to ForeFlight version 13.0, ForeFlight did not factor the aircraft's speed or direction. Traffic targets would only be designated red or yellow within the specified lateral and horizontal distances.
Hiding Distant Traffic (ADS-B only)
To declutter the map of ADS-B traffic, ForeFlight can hide traffic that is more than 15 NM away from your current GPS location or more than 3,500' ft. above or below your current GPS altitude. To hide distant ADS-B traffic, select More > Settings and turn the Hide Distant Traffic (ADSB) switch on. You can also toggle Hide Distant Traffic on or off from the Maps page using the Map Settings. When Hide Distant Traffic is enabled, a label is depicted in the bottom-right corner of the map. Note - Traffic targets that are not reporting altitude information and are within 15NM of your position do not get hidden on the map.
ForeFlight can depict alert banners on the Map if a traffic target is expected to be within 1.3 NM and +/-1200 ft. of your position within 25 seconds. To enable traffic alerts, select More > Settings > Alerts and enable Traffic Alerts. ForeFlight can also audibly play the traffic alerts by selecting Speak All Alerts on the Alerts Settings page.
NOTE - Traffic alerts are compatible with internet and ADS-B traffic and require ownship detection.
Unknown Altitude Alerts
Beginning with ForeFlight version 13.5, traffic targets not broadcasting altitude information are assumed to be at your altitude and will trigger an alert when they're expected to be within 1.3 NM of your GPS position within 25 seconds. In the event of an unknown altitude traffic alert, the alert will display (and speak if enabled) the relationship, distance, and "Altitude Unknown."
Types of ADS-B traffic
When you tap on an ADS-B traffic target, you may see the aircraft's heading, speed, tail number, call sign, and frequency band used (978 or 1090) followed by ADS-B, ADS-R, or TIS-B.
- ADS-B indicates information was obtained via Air-to-Air broadcast directly from an ADS-B Out-equipped aircraft.
- ADS-R indicates that the ground station rebroadcast the ADS-B message that it received on the other ADS-B frequency. This is a service provided to client aircraft that indicate that they do not have a dual-band receiver.
- TIS-B indicates that the information was obtained via broadcast from a ground station. Ground stations provide the TIS-B service for ADS-B Out-equipped client aircraft.
Verifying ADS-B Connectivity
When connected to an ADS-B receiver, a device tile is depicted on the Devices page. You can verify connectivity by selecting More > Devices and tapping the tile. To ensure full functionality, verify ownship detection and ADS-B Traffic reception in the Device information page.
NOTE - When connected to an ADS-B receiver, a label is depicted in the top-left corner of the Maps page.