Posted on: 25 January 2011 by Ross McSweeny
Fokker Services, in collaboration with flight operations software and services provider Navtech, reports that it has introduced commercial aviation’s first affordable hardware and mounting solution for Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) technology designed for the Apple iPad.
The new solution includes Navtech’s charts library and claims to set a new standard in portability and convenience for pilots. Swedish cargo carrier Amapola has received approval from the Swedish CAA for a Class 2B EFB and has begun flying using the solution in its fleet of Fokker 50s.
"This product is a sterling example Fokker Services’ goal to create innovative, affordable modifications for the retrofit market," proclaimed Tom Milder, Fokker Services director modifications. "It’s a perfect match for operators who want to take advantage of EFB capabilities while achieving cost savings in relation to training, devices, installation and the revision environment."
The iPad solution has been extensively tested by Amapola pilots, generating exceptionally positive feedback, says Fokker Services. Pilots have noted such advantages as reduced workload, significantly reduced turnaround times and flight preparation time, and possibilities for incorporating last minute runway changes. Further, the need for most flight paper manuals is eliminated through the inclusion of Navtech’s 31,000 page charts library, which was introduced in an iPad application, Navtech iCharts, in November.
"We see the iPad as a unique opportunity to further lighten the load on pilots and airlines," commented Mike Hulley, Navtech CEO. "Navtech iCharts has captured the attention of airlines around the world for its convenience and truly user-friendly format. It’s the kind of innovation that’s a win for everyone."
The iPad EFB Solution is EASA certified and, say the protagonists, requires no expensive ICT infrastructure and has a power reserve of up to eight hours. Although the iPad EFB solution was introduced on Amapola’s Fokker 50 aircraft, it is also available for Bombardier, Airbus and Boeing aircraft.