Jet charter to use Jeppesen iPad app in lieu of paper charts

February 16, 2011

The FAA has authorized Executive Jet Management, a subsidiary of NetJets Inc., to use the Jeppesen Mobile TC App for the iPad as an alternative to paper aeronautical charts, Jeppesen announced Feb. 11.

The charter company and Jeppesen managed a three-month in-flight evaluation before the authorization, with regular engagement from the FAA, Jeppesen said. It added that “[l]essons learned, processes established, and templates developed” during the evaluation and authorization may benefit other companies seeking a similar authorization for use of the iPad.

Since the introduction of the iPad, general aviation pilots have quickly taken to viewing charts on the device, but charter operators who want to replace paper charts with electronic devices must obtain an authorization. The configuration that Executive Jet Management has been authorized to use classifies as a Class 1 portable electronic flight bag (EFB). Jeppesen said that information gained from the in-flight evaluation would be useful in working toward a future authorization for Class 2 (mounted) EFB configurations using the iPad.

“Executive Jet Management was pleased to collaborate with Jeppesen and the FAA on this leading-edge iPad EFB solution and to support the introduction of this technology to the industry,” said Executive Jet Management President Robert Garrymore. Both Jeppesen and Executive Jet Management praised the collaboration between operator, supplier, and the FAA.

Executive Jet Management pilots logged more than 250 flight segments in 10 different aircraft types during the evaluation, and the charter completed noninterference testing on the aircraft. In addition Jeppesen commissioned a successful rapid-decompression test to 51,000 feet msl, Jeppesen said. The company released version 1.2 of the app in January with enhancements, updates, and software improvements made as a result of the evaluation, it said in a press release.