Executive Jet Approved to Replace Paper Charts With iPad
February 17, 2011 — The iPad, along with a mobile application provided by Jeppesen, has won approval by the FAA to be used in lieu of paper charts on Executive Jet Management aircraft, a subsidiary of NetJets Inc. The approval to use the iPad as the sole reference for electronic charts in all phases of flight is the first of its kind. Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs) have been approved for use for several years but the iPad is by far the most compact tablet computer employed to date as an EFB.
Executive Jet, with cooperation from the FAA and Jeppesen, tested the iPad in 10 aircraft over 250 flights. Using Jeppesen’s Mobile TC application as many as 55 pilots evaluated its use in all phases of flight. In addition, the iPad underwent decompression testing to 51,000 feet as well as non-interference testing.
"Executive Jet Management was pleased to collaborate with Jeppesen and the FAA on this leading-edge iPad EFB solution and to support the introduction of this technology to the industry," said Robert Garrymore, Executive Jet Management president. "The collaboration with Jeppesen and the FAA was key in making this innovation possible and we are proud to be a part of it."
The FAA authorized the iPad for Executive Jet as a Class 1 portable, which means it must be secured and viewable during critical phases of flight. While there are no restrictions for use of the iPad and other EFBs under VFR rules, air carriers both scheduled and non-scheduled must earn approval to implement EFBs in their operations. Part 91 commercial and private operators and pilots may use Class 1 and Class 2 (mounted) EFBs as long as they don’t replace any systems or equipment required by the regulations.
See these two advisory circulars regarding the FAA’s requirements for using EFBs:
2003 advisory circular (AC 120-76A) - Addresses airworthiness, certification, and operational approvals
2007 advisory circular (AC 91-78) - Addresses when pilots are allowed to replace some paper information with electronic sources