15. Traffic

15.1. OzRunways Traffic System (in-app)

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Image 15.1 Settings → Traffic

OzRunways has implemented a traffic system based on the use of mobile (3G/4G) networks. The way this works is as follows. If you opt in and are network connected, the App detects whether you are flying. If you are, it starts sending data packets to the mobile network that hold your id, your position, heading and climb/descent rate. In addition, if you have an active plan, that plan is sent to an OzRunways server. The traffic system data usage is below 1 megabyte per hour (very minimal). The server receives the data and determines whether there are any aircraft in your vicinity and sends those aircraft back to your App, which are then displayed on the Map Page. The aircraft icon at the top of the map screen enables or disables the traffic display. The traffic displayed is the closest 18 active aircraft to your current location.

Each light blue traffic icon displays a callsign as specified in the Settings → Traffic → Callsign field. If no callsign is specified here, it will use the callsign from the aircraft profile in use. If neither of these options are available the dummy callsign ‘Unknown’ will appear. Below the callsign is the altitude relative to your current altitude in 100’s of feet. For example see Image 15.6. VH-KEG is 800ft above us, and VH-OTY is 4900ft above us. Additionally, the direction of travel is indicated by an arrow on the circumference of the circular icon. In the figure VH-KEG is tracking south, and VH-OTY is tracking west. If you tap on a traffic icon it will momentarily zoom, and if the user has an OzRunways plan active it will display that plan as a purple line.

Setup & Options

The first time you start the app you are prompted to enable or disable the traffic system. You can turn the system on or off any time in Settings → Traffic, along with various other options.

If you wish to see other OzRunways traffic on the map you must also broadcast your own position. If you wish to hide your callsign then turn off the ‘Share my callsign’ option. Your callsign will then appear as ‘Unknown’.

The Traffic system can also be controlled from the Map Page using the traffic icon on the top menu bar.

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The elements of the traffic icon gives a visual indication of the status of both the OzRunways traffic system, and any connected ADS-B device.

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Image 15.3 Traffic icon legend

Tap the traffic icon to reveal more options. If you have a SkyEcho connected this is where you can configure the settings.

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Image 15.4 Left: Standard traffic popup Right: Popup with SkyEcho connected

Image 2.21 below demonstrates the appearance of the traffic icon under the following conditions:

  • OzRunways traffic broadcasting

  • SkyEcho ADS-B OUT broadcasting using callsign EFB, and squawk code 1200

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Note

The OzRunways traffic system will only broadcast your position to other users when it detects you are flying. I.e. the aeroplane symbol won’t be green unless you are flying.

15.2. tx.ozrunways.com (traffic wesbite)

OzRunways traffic is also displayed on the website https://tx.ozrunways.com This is displayed on a normal web browser (not the app). Aircraft are illustrated on the map as red directional arrows. Tap on any of these arrows for more information. If a plan is available for that aircraft it is displayed in blue. Airspace is also displayed on the map and can be indicated by tapping on the airspace in question.

The traffic website keeps a history previous flights you have completed (provided you had the traffic system switched on and working). Tap on ‘My Flights’ at the top of the website and log in with your OzRunways username to see your flight history. A list of flights is presented with some icons to the right of each entry. You have the option to share your flight via Twitter or Facebook, or you can preview the flight on the map or download it as a KML or GPX file.

15.3. ADS-B Traffic

OzRunways supports ABS-B receivers that connect via WiFi and use the GDL90 protocol. A Premium subscription is required.

ADS-B Receiver Setup

Connect your iPad or iPhone to the ADS-B receiver in iPad Settings → WiFi. (Note: The ‘No Internet Connection’ warning is normal)

The receiver should now be sending information to OzRunways. Check that the receiver appears in OzRunways → Settings.

ADS-B Receiver Troubleshooting

If you have confirmed that you are connected to the ADS-B receiver via WiFi and it is still not working follow these steps:

Open OzRunways and go to Settings → Device Options. Ensure that ‘Enable GDL90/Stratux/Flightbox’ is switched on.

The receiver should appear as a menu item in the Settings menu underneath ‘Device Options’. Tap to view device statistics including the number of currently visible ADS-B aircraft.

Your iDevice can only be connected to one WiFi network at a time. If you usually ‘hotspot’ internet from another source (such as a phone) you may not be able to do this concurrently, unless you can connect to the hotspot using Bluetooth instead.

To use ADS-B functionality a Premium subscription is required. Check your subscription type in OzRunways → Settings → Subscriptions.

On the map page, ADS-B traffic is displayed just like regular OzRunways traffic but in a darker shade of blue (Image 15.6)

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Image 15.6 Traffic bubbles

15.4. Portable ADS-B Out

Low cost, portable ADS-B OUT devices are coming to VFR aircraft in Australia!

These portable devices allow all pilots to enjoy the benefits of increased situational awareness, with ADS-B IN receiver functionality to see other aircraft on your EFB, and ADS-B OUT functionality so these aircraft can now see you too.

For comprehensive information on ADS-B Out devices and how they work with OzRunways, see this article on our knowledgebase: https://ozrunways.tenderapp.com/kb/frequently-asked-questions/skyecho-ads-b

The traffic system, including SkyEcho settings, can be configured directly on the Map Page as demonstrated above in Setup & Options.