FAA Issues InFO
Bulletin On Tablet EFB Authorization
April 1, 2011 - FAA bulletin provides guidance for
operators interested in gaining FAA authorization of
tablet computing devices as an electronic flight bag
(EFB). The process used to authorize the Jeppesen Mobile
TC App for iPad as an alternative to paper aeronautical
charts for a certificated operator has been noted by the
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in a recent
Information for Operators (InFO) bulletin.
The bulletin provides guidance for operators interested
in gaining FAA authorization of tablet computing devices
for electronic flight bag (EFB) use in flight.
the bulletin, the FAA instructs operators that are
seeking EFB authorization for use of tablet computing
devices such as iPad to coordinate with their principal
operations inspector and to follow normal processes
defined in the FAA Flight Standards Information
Management System 8900.1 process. The Jeppesen Mobile TC
App authorization is referenced in the bulletin as a
model for achieving this type of authorization with an
?This FAA bulletin works to define the authorization process for tablet EFB solutions and cites the Jeppesen Mobile TC App for iPad as an established example,? said Tim Huegel, director, Jeppesen Portfolio Management, Aviation.
industry precedent set by this process may help others seeking
to deploy EFB solutions on tablet computing devices such as iPad
and we are able to provide guidance to help promote safe and
efficient operations using iPad and the Jeppesen Mobile TC App.?
authorization process noted by the FAA allows the operator to
use iPad and the Jeppesen Mobile TC App as the sole reference
for electronic charts, even during taxi, takeoff and landing.
Since the original FAA authorization in February,
numerous Jeppesen customers have either received authorization
or are in the process of seeking authorization for Mobile TC on
iPad, following the same process model.
Jeppesen Mobile TC currently displays approach plate charts, terminal procedures and airport diagrams. Further flight information capabilities and additional Apps are planned for introduction in the near future for the general, business, commercial and military aviation industries.
Below is the FAA
on the Tablet EFB Authorization.
Subject: The Apple
iPad and Other Suitable Tablet Computing Devices as Electronic Flight
Purpose: This InFO
provides information about the use of the iPad and other suitable tablet
computing devices as EFBs. In addition, it provides information about
EFB use and the Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS)
process that may be helpful to operators seeking authorization to use an
Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorized a
certificated operator to use an iPad as a Class 1 EFB. In this
particular case, the operator is using the iPad with the Jeppesen Mobile
TC App to display approach plates, terminal procedures, and airport
diagrams. This operator worked closely with their certificate holding
district office, Jeppesen, and Apple during the application and
- FAA Order
8900.1, Flight Standards Information Management System, volume 4,
chapter 15, section 1, Electronic Flight Bag Operational Authorization
Process, and volume 3, chapter 18, section 3, OPSPEC/MSPEC/LOA A061, USE
OF ELECTRONIC FLIGHT BAG.
- FAA Advisory
Circular (AC) 120-76A, Guidelines for the Certification, Airworthiness,
and Operational Approval of Electronic Flight Bag Computing Devices.
Note: This AC is currently being revised to harmonize with the FSIMS
sections cited above.
- FAA AC 91-78,
Use of Class 1 or Class 2 Electronic Flight Bag (EFB), has information
for those conducting operations under Title 14 of the Code of Federal
Regulations (14 CFR) part 91.
Hardware: The iPad
is commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) electronic hardware that is not
approved or certified by the FAA. However, it can be authorized for use
by a principal operations inspector if it meets the EFB criteria
discussed in FSIMS, volume 4, chapter 15, section 1 and AC 120-76A. For
certificate holders and 14 CFR part 91 subpart K (91K) program managers,
operation specification or management specification (OpSpec/MSpec)
paragraph A061 must be issued to authorize the use of EFBs. For part 91
operators other than 91K, FAA authorization for use is not required.
However, installation and airworthiness requirements specified in AC
120-76A are still applicable.
Jeppesen Mobile TC App displays approach plates, terminal procedures,
and airport diagrams and is defined as a Type B software application per
AC 120-76A. The display of en route chart aeronautical information was
not part of this particular evaluation or authorization. To be used in
critical phases of flight, an EFB displaying Type B software must be
secured and viewable. A kneeboard is one way to accomplish this.
Note: Class 1 EFBs
with Type B software must not display the aircraft?s position, also
referred to as ?own-ship position,? in accordance with current policy
(see AC 120-76A, paragraph 7c, and Appendix B). The Jeppesen Mobile TC
App inhibits own-ship position.
Authorization: The authorization process the FAA uses for certificate
holders and program managers is contained in FSIMS, volume 4, chapter
15, section 1. Although the iPad is a relatively new computing device,
when using it as an EFB it is treated the same as any other COTS device,
subject to the authorizations and limitations applicable to portable
Class 1 or 2 EFBs.
is used to authorize EFB devices. Non-standard text can be added to
document an evaluation period. At the end of a successful evaluation
period, the operator is authorized to use the iPad as an EFB to replace
certain required paper products.
desire to use the iPad or any other suitable tablet computing device as
a substitute for paper products, including aeronautical information such
as approach plates, terminal procedures, and airport diagrams, must show
compliance with the guidance in FSIMS and/or AC 120-76A. Each
authorization process is considered unique, because of differences in
each operator?s aircraft types, training programs, operational
procedures, intended function of the EFB, etc.
For part 91
operators other than 91K, the use of an EFB in lieu of paper is the
decision of the aircraft operator and/or the pilot in command. AC 91-78
and AC 120-76A contain guidance on replacing paper products, including
aeronautical charts, with an EFB.
Operators transitioning to a paperless cockpit should undergo an evaluation period during which the operator should carry paper backups of the material on the EFB. During this period, the operator should validate that the EFB is as available and reliable as the paper-based system being replaced. Part 91, subpart F operators must ensure compliance with 14 CFR part 91 ? 91.503 at all times. All part 91 operators should also document compliance with ? 91.21, Portable electronic devices.
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