EASA has released details of its proposed rule changes for electronic flight bags (EFBs), including new provisions for non-commercial operators and codifying ICAO's standards for the equipment in the agency’s regulations. Existing EASA rules address EFB usage for commercial air transport (CAT) operators, but the new rules would introduce requirements for other operator categories, including non-commercial operators (NCOs), those with complex-motor-powered aircraft (NCCs) and specialized operations (SPOs).
The rules introduce operational approvals for Type B EFB applications for all operators, and integrate ICAO standards and recommended practices in place since November 2014. They also broaden airport moving-map provisions that EASA issued in guidance for CAT operators.
For NCCs, NCOs and SPOs, “The objective of the proposed rules is to provide for a level playing field by ensuring compliance with ICAO Annex 6 and introducing proportionate requirements adapted to the risks involved and to the resources of the affected operators,” EASA explained. “Proportionality is ensured for NCC, SPO, and NCO by not introducing any operational approval and by proposing requirements which are adapted to the risks involved and to the resources of the affected operators.”
EASA has sent the proposed new rules to the European Commission (EC) as an opinion, factoring in more than 260 comments from 40 industry companies and organizations. The final steps are EC adoption of EASA's opinion and the release of supporting guidance material and related information needed for industry to comply with the rules. EASA expects adoption of the EFB rules in mid-2018.