NetJets subsidiary Executive Jet Management has received Federal Aviation Administration approval to use an Apple iPad App from Jeppesen as an alternative to paper aeronautical maps, in a precedent-setting move that will set the stage for this Class I portable, kneeboard electronic flight bag to be rolled out by other operators.

The first publicly disclosed customer of Jeppesen's so-called Mobile TC (terminal charts) iPad App, Executive Jet is now using the solution as the sole reference for electronic charts - including during taxi, take-off and landing - on "10 different aircraft types" in the fleet, reveals Jeff Buhl, Jeppesen Mobile TC App project manager and senior manager, Jeppesen Enterprise Solutions.

FAA authorisation came after an intensive three-month in-flight evaluation, which included a successful rapid decompression test on the iPad to 51,000ft (15,550m) and non-interference testing. Executive Jet president Robert Garrymore says the firm was pleased to collaborate with Jeppesen and the FAA on the iPad EFB "and to support the introduction of this technology to the industry". Saying it has "an international focus", Jeppesen has already entered conversation with the European Safety Agency.

While the firm declines to name other potential customers, it says there are "quite a few operators who are investigating the solution globally". The industry will "hear continued public conversation" about the iPad EFB in the coming months, it adds, and also should not be surprised if "by late summer" an announcement comes from a major airline.

Information obtained from the Executive Jet evaluation will be useful in gaining future authorisation for Class 2 mounted configurations using the iPad.

Source: Flight International