recommended reading

An app for that? iPads can replace paper maps in the cockpit, FAA says

The Federal Aviation Administration has approved Apple's iPad as an alternative to paper aeronautical charts for all phases of a flight.

Electronic flight materials are nothing new, according to FAA, but this is the first time iPad technology has been approved as a substitute for paper maps, including flight plans and airport diagrams, such as runways and taxiways.

FAA-approved iPad applications were developed by Englewood, Colo.-based Jeppesen, and are being used by Executive Jet Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NetJets, which provides worldwide charter and aircraft management services.

The iPad and the apps underwent testing on more than 250 flights with 55 pilots on 10 different aircraft models and had to be approved by FAA. An integrated dimming capability to support night or low-light flying was added during testing.

"This serves as a model for how the FAA can be engaged in working through a challenge and defining a solution that moves the industry forward safely and effectively," Jeppesen's Chief Executive Officer Mark Van Tine said in a prepared statement that praised the "exceptional collaboration" between the two companies and FAA.

Testing included rapid decompression and noninterference with other flight systems. In the event of a device failure, operators have backup systems, Jeff Buhl, Jeppesen senior manager for enterprise solutions, said in an e-mail.

Should one device fail, the co-pilot would have an iPad as well, FAA spokesman Les Dorr said. The devices are required to be able to draw power from the aircraft, so the iPad's power would not run out during a long flight.

When asked if iPads, which can be loaded with numerous games and applications, could be a potential distraction for pilots, Dorr reiterated FAA rules that pilots are not supposed to be using the devices for activities unrelated to flight. In October 2009, a Northwest Airlines jet overshot Minneapolis's airport by 150 miles and the pilots told investigators they were distracted by using airline software on their laptops.

Jeppesen said iPad is more cost-efficient and smaller than other electronic flight material bundles. An iPad costs $499, and the most basic application and service packages start at $76 a year, while comparable flight bags, including a laptop or other electronic device, could cost upwards of $20,000 per device, Buhl said.

The company expects other carriers to use the iPad rather than paper maps and other electronics. A select group of Alaska Airlines pilots are testing iPads, according to the company and FAA. The airline has not decided to use the technology yet and declined further comment, pending initial results.

Jeppesen photo

Threatwatch Alert

Social Media Takeover

Qatar News Agency Says Hackers Published Fake Stories

See threatwatch report

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.