FAA InFO Addresses iPads as EFBs

 - May 24, 2011, 8:37 AM

In a recently issued Information for Operators (InFO), the FAA provides guidance and information for pilots using iPads and other tablet devices as electronic flight bags (EFBs). For aircraft operated under FAR Part 91 (but not 91K), the FAA said, “The use of an EFB in lieu of paper is the decision of the aircraft operator and/or the pilot in command.” The agency added that 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,” the FAA advised. “During this period, the operator should validate that the EFB is as available and reliable as the paper-based system being replaced.” Part 135 charter operators or Part 91K fractional providers must get specific FAA authorization to use an iPad or other EFB in place of paper references. While the FAA has approved the iPad with Jeppesen JeppView as a Class 1 device for Executive Jet Management, this is not a blanket approval for Part 135 operators. “Each [Part 135/91k] authorization process is considered unique,” the FAA said, “because of differences in each operator’s aircraft types, training programs, operational procedures and intended function of the EFB.”