Jeppesen, the company that produces most of the paper and electronic "Jepp charts" used by pilots for preflight planning and inflight navigation, announced late last week that jet charter operator Executive Jet Management has received authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to use the Jeppesen Mobile TC App for iPad as an alternative to paper charts.
According to online aviation website AvStop, this authorization allows Executive Jet Management to use the app and iPad as the sole reference for electronic charts at all times during a flight. Jeppesen, Executive Jet Management and local and national Electronic Flight Bag authorization authorities recently completed a three-month in-flight evaluation of the iPad-based solution. During the evaluation, pilots for the charter operator logged more than 250 flight segments using the app.
The configuration that was authorized by the FAA is a Class 1 portable kneeboard electronic flight bag solution, meaning that the iPad needs to be secured and viewable during critical flight phases. The iPad tests even included a rapid decompression test to 51,000 feet in altitude and successful non-interference testing on the evaluation aircraft.
While the authorization is only for one jet charter operator, this could signal a move for rapid acceptance of the iPad in the cockpit by airlines.