To cut costs and improve efficiency, the FAA is moving to end its direct-to-public retail sales of aeronautical charts and related paper products. Last week the agency stopped accepting or renewing chart subscriptions. While individual charts will be available through the agency’s website through September, on October 1 it will stop selling individual charts.
The FAA’s release of an updated Advisory Circular 120-76B covering electronic flight bag (EFB) guidelines is raising concerns about possible increased scrutiny of Part 91 Subpart F operators of business jets that weigh more than 12,500 pounds.
Executive Jet Management (EJM) has received FAA approval to use Jeppesen’s Mobile TC App Version 1.2 for the iPad2 as an alternative to paper aeronautical charts following a three-month demonstration program that covered 55 pilots flying 10 different aircraft over 250 flight segments. Jeppesen reported that the pilots were pleased with the app’s ease of use, simplicity, speed and display clarity.
Arinc Direct is trying to help aircraft operators meet the new requirement to implement safety management systems (SMS) by introducing a new process for conducting the necessary risk factors assessment before each flight.
Arinc has added new map technology and automated risk factor assessment for meeting safety management system (SMS) requirements to Arinc Direct, its flight-planning service. Using new map technology from SkyVector, Arinc Direct is offering its subscribers the ability to view in selectable detail a planned route and the aeronautical map data behind it.
Pilots who want an alternative source of electronic chart data for flying outside the U.S. can now buy ChartData from Seattle Avionics Software for European Union countries. The EU ChartData is available for hardware manufacturers that want to make the data available for their customers.
Aeronautical chart provider Jeppesen is experiencing first hand some of the angst that can accompany a business’s transition to the brave new world of digital product and service marketing. In Jepp’s case problems arose from glitches with its FliteDeck electronic approach chart software, a recent version of which wreaked serious havoc by locking up users’ computers.
The FAA’s Airport/Facility Directory now includes a new section that contains taxi diagram charts for selected FAR Part 139 airports. The new section was added in support of the agency’s program to reduce runway incursions. The diagrams are the same full-page charts that are published in IFR terminal procedures publications and are in addition to the VFR sketches already added to the directory.
Officials for Jeppesen report that the company has identified and corrected many of the irregularities in its NavData boundary data, but at press time about 350 of the more than 20,000 boundaries included in the latest update of the database, effective March 20, had not yet been fixed. The error arose from problems with a software upgrade when data was pulled from a database containing airspace boundaries worldwide for the March update.
The National Geospacial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) last month discontinued public access to Flight Information Publication (Flip) charts for the Caribbean, Central America and South America, eliminating a government source of aeronautical information for those areas.
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