Some time ago, I built my own Stratux Air Traffic Receiver which I used to show other airplanes on my electronic flight bag. Since a few flights, I am trying the app SafeSky. SafeSky uses multiple datasources from the internet to gather and display other traffic in EFB like ForeFlight and SkyDemon. The app runs on the same device as the navigation software, exporting the data into the local network via messages in the GDL90 format similar to the Stratux. The navigation tools like ForeFlight and SkyDemon are able to decode these messages and to display the traffic information directly on the moving map.
Furthermore, these navigation apps warn the pilots acoustically if traffic crosses the own track in a critical manner. These warnings are quite similar to the warnings received by flight information services and highly increase the situational awareness.
“Traffic, 11 o’clock, 2 miles, crossing left to right.”
“Traffic, 12 o‘clock, percipical heading.”
Compared to my Stratux, SafeSky seems to show way more planes in my surrounding. During flights within our traffic pattern, SafeSky shows all other planes in the pattern whilst my Stratux showed only a few. To achieve the best coverage, SafeSky combines multiple different datasources like ADS-B, FLARM and OGN and even a local Stratux receiver if connected. As the app primarily fetches the data via internet connectivity, you will receive no traffic information in higher altitudes once leaving the mobile data network. Still, it’s quite convenient to keep the app running in the background and to receive the data as long as the internet connectivity is working. Having any traffic information is always better than no information.