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Hilton Software customizes EFB for FAA flight check opsHilton Software customizes EFB for FAA flight check ops

Contract solidifies long-term relationship

Pilots who fly for the FAA validating instrument procedures and navigation aid accuracy have a new electronic flight bag customized by Hilton Software for their specific needs.

FAA pilots who inspect airports and navigation aids to confirm the accuracy and safety of published procedures will be flying with EFBs customized by Hilton Software for their specific mission. Photo by Jim Moore.

Founder Hilton Goldstein, who created WingX, a popular EFB for general aviation pilots, said he started working with FAA flight inspection staff about a year ago to customize Aero App, an EFB produced for the U.S. Department of Defense through a contract between Hilton Software and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

Goldstein said that FAA Flight Program Operations staff, who oversee various FAA aviation programs including flight inspection, requested some mission-specific features and add-ons to Aero App, and that led to a separate $4 million, five-year contract to further customize Aero App for flight inspection. The new contract follows a $17 million contract between Hilton Software and NGA announced in 2017.

Aero App is a multi-function EFB developed by Hilton Software for the U.S. Department of Defense. FAA Flight Program Operations will use features specifically incorporated for its pilots and missions. Image courtesy of Hilton Software.

The flight inspection pilots fly aircraft equipped with an array of specialized sensors and other equipment. They visit (or at least overfly) every runway in the national airspace system on a periodic schedule, confirming with their in-flight observations the accuracy of each element in every instrument procedure before it is published, and subsequently thereafter on a regular basis.

“These are the guys who make sure that the IAPs that you and I fly, and everyone else in general aviation, are safe,” Goldstein said in a telephone interview. “It’s pretty cool that we are helping” flight check crews complete this mission.

Goldstein said one reason for the separate agreement with the FAA is that flight inspection pilots will use a somewhat different interface than other federal users of the same app. “These FAA features only get exposed to the FAA pilots doing flight check.”

An FAA flight inspection crew validates instrument procedures in 2012, flying a King Air equipped with an array of antennas and specialized equipment to confirm the accuracy, functionality, and safety of procedures and navigation aids. Photo by Jim Moore.

AOPA ePublishing staff

AOPA ePublishing Staff editors are experienced pilots, flight instructors, and aircraft owners who have a passion for bringing you the latest news and AOPA announcements.
Topics: FAA Information and Services, EFB

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