Real-time, in-flight weather is not a new concept. Sirius XM and WSI have been providing it to pilots for years.
ADS-B, the key element in the United States government’s plan for the NextGen air traffic control system, has been in a long and slow development process. The service, which provides weather, traffic—and ultimately will provide clearances and other ATC communications—is now becoming available as the FAA pushes toward its full implementation
The first element of NextGen to become available has been the weather products. But in order for pilots to take advantage of this service, they need
an ADS-B receiver and a way to display the data.
Most readers would agree that the Apple iPad has emerged as the dominant choice for in-cockpit informational display. Gulfstream is certifying the iPad as an EFB on its new G650 ultra-high speed business jet; Jeppesen is aggressively pushing its chart service toward electronic formats; and companies like ForeFlight have developed apps for the iPad that are both easy to use and extremely cost-effective.