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Autorouter issues and questions (merged)

I recently learned that a lot of Swiss do not have internet on their mobile phones because of the high cost. In Egypt, everybody age 10 plus has internet on the phone

Also fixed internet is still much faster.

That is changing rapidly. In my new office I only have LTE and I see no real difference to DSL/cable. LTE is becoming very widespread. 3G is also fine for flight plan management, even EDGE is bearable.

That is changing rapidly. In my new office I only have LTE and I see no real difference to DSL/cable. LTE is becoming very widespread.

That is true to some extent. However never forget mountains. Travelling in a train from Bern to Lausanne you have no signal, let alone LTE. Back to my case in Grenchen I had 10 minutes to cancel a flight plan and file a new one and I had only EDGE. I had to call Skyguide and do it on the phone, no chance over the internet.

LSZH, LSZF, Switzerland

In this article (which is probably accurate but needs updating with new methods such as the EuroGA router) I have a comparison of the data used up by the then three available methods.

EuroFPL came out by far the best. I still use it for VFR flight plans, and as a backup for IFR ones.

I was one of the very first users of Homebriefing (the service was first discovered by some Greek pilots!) and used them for a while, only to find they actually offered a very poor service as soon as there was any issue which needed sorting out over the phone. But that was a long time ago…

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Note that you can always call the Eurocontrol helpdesk for anything related to flight plans filed with autorouter. It’s available 24/7 with two centers (in case the Russians drop a nuke on Brussels).

Yes – I have those numbers in my phone but have never felt that the sort of issue I had could be sorted over the phone. But maybe it can be… can they move a flight plan from 0900Z to 0800Z, just like that? And sort out any Eurocontrol slots which result from the re-filing, and make sure the same route still validates?

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I am amazed anyone is still using a PC at a briefing room

What’s so bizarre at that? I’ve yet to land at a field that did not have a PC with hardwired internet access available for pilots.
At my home field there’s several, and on good flying days they’re in constant use.
But perhaps I am the aviation equivalent of an Egyptian 10-year old…

Last Edited by at 30 Apr 15:47
EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

Yes, the Eurocontrol helpdesk can do everything with your flight plan, delay, change, refile, etc. It’s a good service in case other means are unavailable.

I’ve never had the situation that I couldn’t use my mobile. It can be expensive (e.g. Serbia) but even the last dump in Africa has 3G nowadays. I’m absolutely fine with a mobile phone optimized web site and a bunch of phone numbers as backup.

Stravej Vladimir,

actually the situation has improved quite a bit for Swiss customers. I recently checked some options and find that the data only subscriptions like for tablets e.t.c with Swisscom do now offer rather economical tarifs as compared to before. On my phone I buy either one day or one month subscriptions if i am abroad, the one month one with 200 mb is about CHF19.-, one of which I am using now in Bulgaria. I am here now 2 weeks and have used 20 mb…. (of course I have wlan in the house…)

Re the Skybriefing PC’s: They are indeed dedicated (as the homebriefing ones were) and only run that product. However, most airfields either have wlan or other PC stations which can use other things.

LSZH, Switzerland

€ 30/month for 5 GB and 3 Simcards (3G). Vodafone Germany, but an old contract. Unfortunately if I want LTE I’d have to give up my 5 GB. So i stay with 3G … for now

Autorouter wish list is getting shorter – it’s simply fab.

- iPhone App (proper native, like ForeFlight not RocketRoute)
- Database of previously filed routes – like ForeFlight shows previously filed routes, not just validating routes.
- maybe a VFR Airspace autorouter – keeping out of airspace so if VFR, you can program your Garmin and then use DIRECT TO as you negotiate airspace clearances.

I very much appreciate the effort Achim has put into this great tool for the IFR community – thank you.

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