We frequently receive calls from operator customers, flight operations managers, and chief pilots (Part 91K, Part 135, and Part 121) seeking to get approval to use iPads in the cockpit as a replacement for paper charts. What we have learned is that there is still a lot of confusion about what is required to adopt and use an EFB.
Reflecting upon why that is, we concluded that it is because so many operators – for the first time in history and because of the iPad – are considering using EFBs in their operation and are just now becoming familiar with the rules, regulations, and processes required to get approval. That, combined with confusing press releases and news articles that seem to lead individuals to the conclusion that the FAA stamps their approval on or endorses particular software applications, thus they have limited options to select from, and they end up more confused than when they started exploring the process.
The punchline: you have options when it comes to software that you can receive authorization for, you can be successful getting a range of software approved, and you can save a wheelbarrow of cold hard cash if you shop around. And in many cases – like with ForeFlight Mobile – you get more functionality and value. Here’s an example:
So, today we launched a new resource page on our website that provides some summary information and links to helpful resources. We will update this with additional information over time, including a list of consultants that can help operators through the process of obtaining an A061 approval.
The benefits of adopting an EFB and an app like ForeFlight can be substantial: 90% savings on the cost of charts alone, while also gaining capabilities that are not available with more expensive solutions.
Point your browser to our new “Get Approved!” resource page. We’ll keep it fresh with the latest insights on getting approved and other resources that may be helpful to your operation. A copy of the content from the Get Approved! page is below.
If you would like to see other resources or information added to the page, drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are seeking to use iPads in your operation, you have choices. Choices that may save you tens of thousands of dollars and make your operation more productive and efficient.
In February of 2011, Cutter Flight Management, Inc. (CFMI)
was issued an OpSpec A061, authorizing this leading operator to utilizee the iPad as a Class 1 EFB with Type A and B software. Among the software approved was ForeFlight Mobile, which Cutter Flight Management
is authorized to use in all phases of flight. CFMI’s approval
demonstrates it is possible to ‘do it yourself’ when it comes to iPad EFB approval. Completing this process independently and saving thousands in the process is a source of pride for many our operator customers.
We have learned, through discussions with hundreds of customers, that there is confusion about what it means to get authorization to utilize an EFB like the iPad. Does the FAA approve or endorse a product? Is there only one commercial option available to me in the market? What do I need to do for my Part 91 operation? For my 135 or 121 operation?
The iPad is the first device in history that has enabled so many operators and flight operations to adopt and use EFBs. As a result, so many operators are, for the first time, getting familiar with the FAA’s guidelines for using EFBs in the cockpit.
The FAA does not approve or endorse any particular product. Rather, they set forth guidelines that operators follow and use to seek approval with their local FSDOs and PIs. Every operation is different – different aircraft, different training requirements, etc. – and thus each operator has to seek approval independently. The FAA’s guidance is wholistic – the EFB hardware and software selected is just one part of the overall process of adopting and getting authorization to utilize and EFB.
Getting authorization is not a process to be frightened of. You can do it, as others have. There’s paperwork and time and change involved, but at the end of the process, your operation will be more efficient and productive.
If you would like help getting through the approval process, there exists a select group of consultants that focus on iPad approval that can help you through the process. Just send us a note to email@example.com and we’ll help point you to some folks that can help. We do not endorse any particular consultant and do not provide consulting services on the process ourselves, but we can point you towards people and resources that can assist and have a good reputation in the market.
Here are some helpful resources you can use to get familiar with the approval process and start down the path towards adopting the iPad and ForeFlight as an EFB.