The U. S. Federal Aviation Administration has approved new Boeing [NYSE:BA] flight deck technology that will lower pilot workload and reduce flight delays by giving pilots better access to critical information.
The FAA action allows Boeing to install the Class 3 version of the Jeppesen Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) on the Boeing 777. This is the first time a fully integrated Class 3 EFB has been approved for commercial service. In addition, the European Joint Airworthiness Authorities (JAA) have agreed to accept the FAA authorization as certification for the nations under its purview.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines took delivery of the first 777 equipped with a Class 3, certified EFB. All 10 of the 777-200ERs KLM has ordered will have EFB on board.
"This is a vital milestone in our effort to e-enable the air transport system," said Ray Marzullo, Boeing vice president, Flight Services. "The EFB will bring airlines significant gains in efficiency and situational awareness through the strategic application and integration of data."
The EFB transforms into digital format all the printed material pilots use to fly, including navigational charts, flight manuals and logbooks. It also offers:
- An airport moving map feature that precisely displays the airplane's position on an airport tarmac.
- A performance calculator that allows the pilot to instantly calculate ideal speeds and engine settings, taking into account any weather, runway, and payload. Such instant calculations could help KLM carry as much as 9,000 kg (20,000 lbs.) extra on a flight. A similar function to support landing calculations also is included.
- A viewer for cabin surveillance systems that helps meet new and anticipated regulatory requirements. The first unit with cabin surveillance will be delivered in March 2004; units delivered earlier will be retrofitted.
Boeing's Crew Information Services integrated, certified and installed the EFB systems, using Jeppesen software and Astronautics Corp. of America hardware.
The FAA certification represents the agency's first ever approval under Advisory Circular 120-76A of a fully integrated, Class 3 EFB for commercial service.