This year marks the 10th since Jeppesen started supplying aircraft operators with electronic navigation charts. For many, digital charts and maps have matured slowly from a promising yet unproven technology to an everyday necessity.
Jeppesen approach, en route and airport charts are hosted on so-called electronic flight bags (EFB). Class-2 EFBs are normally portable touch-screen computers mounted in the cockpit, while class-3 hardware is increasingly being integrated with the avionics for display of e-charts on the cockpit displays, said Thomas Wede, a Jeppesen senior vice president. Both classes can host the same software, although a moving aircraft symbol can be shown only on charts displayed on class-3 EFBs.
“We are quickly becoming a software company,” Wede said, noting that customers no longer call Jeppesen “the boys with the books,” a reference to the thick chart binders it has for years provided to airline and business-jet flight crews.