Flight information services specialist Jeppesen has signed Northwest Airlines as launch customer for its electronic charts. Talks continue with two more potential customers, one in the USA and one in Asia, says Horst Bergmann, president and chief executive.

The electronic charts are part of Jeppesen's Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) that is being developed to replace conventional navigation charts, flight operations manuals, logbooks and other paper publications.

Northwest will initially use the electronic charts in ground-based functions, such as dispatch, pilot training and simulator operations. In the second phase of the programme, at a yet to be determined time, the airline will introduce the electronic charts into the cockpit once the concept has been proven. "Northwest will build a paperless foundation on the ground first," says Kevin Collins, executive vice-president marketing and product development.

By year-end, the full suite of the EFB will be completed, including terminal charts; documents such as operation manuals; performance calculations; logbook and fault reporting. By next June the EFB will be expanded with taxi situational awareness and video surveillance. Numerous other features are planned, says Jeppesen.

Source: Flight International