Pilots now can access new enhanced pre-flight briefings online from Lockheed Martin Flight Services, and also can utilize a new easy open/close feature for their flight plans, the company announced on Thursday. Staffers at AOPA Summit introduced pilots to the new tools at their busy kiosk in the exhibit hall in downtown Fort Worth, Texas. “Next Generation Briefing uses graphics, automatic summarization, intelligent briefing text translation, and several other tools to provide pilots with their briefing information in the most useful format possible,” said Jim Derr, director of Lockheed Martin Flight Services. The new products aim to make it quicker, easier, and more intuitive for pilots to access the flight-planning information they need.
The new flight briefings highlight information relevant to the pilot’s planned route, while de-emphasizing unnecessary data. For example, weather along the route and at the time of the flight is emphasized, and Notams are sorted and filtered so pilots will see the ones most likely to affect their plans. “We consistently got feedback from pilots that briefings are too long and hard to understand,” said Mike Glasgow, system architect. “The NextGen briefing is a set of tools and capabilities with the overall goal to make it easier and faster to use.” Some of the new features are available now, Glasgow said, and more will be rolled out in the coming months. The new flight plan open/close feature, available now, will send pilots an email with a link they can click to open or close the flight plan. Lockheed Martin’s flight-service features are available free online to pilots at 800wxbrief.com.