The charter airline company Executive Jet Management has been cleared in the US by the Federal Aviation Administration to use iPads as a replacement for traditional paper maps in cockpits.
The upgrade from paper to pixels is an attempt to do away with large heavy maps and make flight navigation easier. Currently, Executive Jet Management is the only company approved to use the iPad and Jeppesen’s Mobile TC map app.
Alaska Airlines is testing the iPad for use on their planes but they have not yet received the green light from the FAA. Executive Jet Management received approval after three months of testing using 10 aircraft, 55 pilots and 250 flights.
This helped prove the safety and effectiveness of the new technology. Jeff Buhl, Jeppesen’s product manager for the Mobile TC app, said: “The recovery time for an application crashing or the OS crashing is extremely rapid. During the evaluation period with the FAA, the production app did not crash. But even if it did, it’s ready to go again in 4-6 seconds from re-launch to previous state.”
According to Wired magazine, the approval of the iPad for Executive Jet Management will make it easier for other airlines to adopt the device. Currently, the Jeppesen’s Mobile TC app only supplies electronic copies of maps but the program could incorporate the iPad’s GPS to provide other features.