TUAW reports today that Jeppesen, the company that makes the paper and electronic “Jepp charts” that pilots use to plan before and during flights, has just has its iPad app authorised by the Federal Aviation Administration for use by charter operator Executive Jet Management. This means that the app, called the Jeppesen Mobile TC App for iPad, can now be used by that particular charter company in the cockpit instead of paper charts, and in fact, the ruling actually enables the company to use the iPad and the app as the sole electronic charts reference point in-flight. According to TUAW, Jeppesen, Executive Jet Management and regional and country-wide Electronic Flight Bag authorisation authorities have just spent three months evaluating iPad charts in-flight, with Executive Jet Management’s pilots undertaking over 250 flight segments using the app. Tests carried out include rapid decompression at 51,000 feet in altitude and non-interference testing. The authorisation requires that the iPad is fixed and viewable during important flight phases.
As TUAW notes, although this authorisation is only for one charter company, it could herald the beginning of the iPad becoming a mainstay in the cockpit, if all the other airlines start to adopt it as well, which seems a distinct possibility.
Source: TUAW: iPad receives FAA certification as an electronic flight bag