The iPad Mini with retina display will soon become a feature on the flight deck after being issued with a letter of Operational Suitability by the FAA for use with Jeppesens’ electronic flight bag (EFB).
‘We are pleased with the findings of the FAA evaluation team confirming the use of iPad mini and Jeppesen mobile EFB solutions,’ said Tim Huegel, director of Jeppesen Aviation Portfolio Management, ‘iPad mini and iPad mini with Retina display offer pilots the incredible detail and ease of use they need when leveraging our valuable data-driven apps and flight information in the cockpit’.
U.S. operators and air carriers must gain formal FAA authorisation for the use of electronic flight bag applications on the flight deck and Jeppesen will issue copies of the letter to those customers that express an interest in the use of the iPad Mini for specific use in their authorisation application.
Other providers of EFB solutions include ARINC Direct, recently acquired by avionics giant, Rockwell Collins. EFB solutions, such as iPad pilot apps, can minimise weight in the cockpit and bring a significant reduction of the pilot’s workload, offering sharing capabilities for flight information, changes to the flight plan and real-time weather updates, graphics and maps.
The advent of the iPad and now the iPad Mini on the flight deck moves the industry another step closer to the sought-after paperless cockpit.
TAG aviation have brought the iPad-based Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) on board following recent authorization from the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA).
The move towards a paperless cockpit is being embraced by operators due to its flexibility for flight planning and in-flight operational tools. TAG have selected Jeppesen’s Mobile Flitedeck with mobile device management to allow users to access data remotely.
Damien Chollet, deputy postholder for TAG Aviation flight operations hails the iPad as a ‘great tool that everybody likes to work with.’
The iPad Electronic Flight Bag, with its up-to-the-minute information is already firmly ensconced in the future of the flight deck. Providers are continually updating their apps to ensure their competitive stake in the industry as a whole.
Turkish MNG Airlines have signed a 5-year contract with Jeppesen, part of Boeing Digital Aviation, for an electronic flight bag service with iPad integration as a part of an initiative to the paper-free cockpit.
Electronic flight bag solutions enhance operational productivity with the reduction of pilot workload and paperwork and the efficiency of having essential in-flight information at the touch of a button, or at the touch of a finger with the iPad applications.
The fuel consumption aspects of flight operations can also be improved through weight reduction.
Jeppesen will deliver the flight data to airline iPads via their web-based distribution manager (JDMPro), which will ensure fast and reliable delivery of navigational and operational data, while maintaining a secure network.
Other electronic flight bag services providers, such as ARINC, bring additional services to the table with in-flight solutions for cabin services, flight planning and flight support services for an end-to-end experience.
UK operator, TAG Aviation has said that it plans to replace the traditional flight bag with the use of iPads and an iPad flight planning app, making them the first UK business aviation operator to move toward the paperless cockpit.
A surprising difference is made to the weight of the aircraft and subsequent fuel consumption with the heavy flight bags on board, as minute calculations are made during the flight planning process. The innovation of the iPad flight planning app reduces not only the paper consumption, but also the fuel costs making it an all-round winner for business aviation if you add the benefit of streamlined efficiency on the flight deck.
“The introduction of paperless technology will ensure that pilots have up-to-date, essential information at their fingertips. Flights manuals, manufacturer’s documents and aeronautical flight charts can be updated at the touch of a button instead of the time-consuming and wasteful process of manually updating hard copies,” said Russ Allchorne, Vice President of Flight Operations Europe at TAG Aviation (UK). “At TAG Aviation, we are committed to identifying ways to pioneer standards in flight operations and wider business aviation practices to improve efficiency, safety and our environmental footprint.”
Many communications providers now offer the iPad flight planning app with the aim of reducing costs while maintaining effective and efficient flight management. ARINC Direct, industry-leading business aviation solutions provider are able to incorporate the iPad flight planning app into their tailored communications and flight support services for business jets.
Flight Planning iPad App
This week JetBlue announced that they are training their pilot to switch to Apple’s iPad apps for essential flight planning access.
The iPad app is fast becoming popular in the aviation industry as airlines make the move to a paperless cockpit, offering flight decks greater flexibility with flight planning tasks, replacing laptops and bulky flight bags full of paper manuals, charts and associated flight planning paperwork.
American Airlines announced just days before that it has completed its plan for the introduction of more than 8,000 iPads fleet-wide. This all adds up to less weight, less fuel burned and huge improvements in the efficiency of the flight planning process all round.
ARINC Flight Planning services, which now includes the iPad app, fully realised the potential implications of improving flight planning and flight deck operations and began implementing the app after FAA approval in 2011.
JetBlue hope that, in addition to the electronic flight bag, the FAA will further approve apps for instrument approach and taxiway charts in the near future. There is little doubt that, certainly for flight planning, the iPad is the way forward for the aviation industry.
This week it has been announced that a pilot has written an iPad app that will handle the commuter and on-demand flight ops calculations, such as departure gradients, approach planning, flight time tracking and climb performance, to name a few.
The new app for the iPad, called the ‘Aviation Pilot Duty and Performance Calculator’ is the latest in a line of innovations introduced since the iPad impact on the cockpit began saving the Pilot hours of complicated, intricate work involving reams of paper that would have to be carried.
The iPad has been a major contribution to the paperless flight deck and with the many apps on the market, such as the ARINC Direct iPad Flight Planning App, especially designed and developed for business aviation users, the Pilot and flight ops crew can look forward to a truly streamlined, optimized cockpit.
ARINC Direct Flight Planning iPad App
ARINC Direct, industry leading business aviation communications providers, demonstrated their new Flight Planning iPad app at EBACE last month, showing the incredible capabilities and connectivity for the use of the iPad as a valuable flight planning tool.
James Hardie, Director for ARINC Direct EMEA and Asia Pacific, said, “Once we realized that more than 50 percent of our subscriber base was already using the [Apple] iPad as an electronic flight bag in the cockpit, we knew that we could provide more up-to-date information, automatically, through our own app, whenever it is connected via the Internet to our servers.”
The combination of the WiFi connectivity of the iPad and ARINC Direct’s Inmarsat SwiftBroadband link, allow for the flight planning iPad app to achieve maximum capability, enhancing the flight deck operations, cutting down the paperwork and offering live weather graphics, graphical flight following and much more.
ARINC Direct’s unique features, such as the ability to connect two iPads via Bluetooth on the flight deck, enabling data sharing, and amending, saving and uploading amended flight plans as PDF’s make the ARINC Direct flight planning iPad app a much needed and long awaited solution to utmost efficiency and another huge step towards a paperless cockpit.