Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Malaysia Airlines Systems (MAS) have successfully incorporated a new Jeppesen Terminal Charts application to the Class 3 Boeing Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) onboard MAS' two Boeing 777-200ER airplanes. The airline is the first carrier in the Asia/Pacific region to use the EFB.
Boeing and its subsidiary, Jeppesen, received operational approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration for the Terminal Charts application. The application is designed for fully integrated Boeing Class 3 Electronic Flight Bags (EFB) and will soon be replacing paper terminal charts on commercial and military aircraft flight decks. MAS has received approval from its Principal Operating Inspector to put the new application into service, though it must complete a six-month evaluation period that began in July before it can cease using paper charts on its EFB-equipped airplanes.
The application gives pilots access to Jeppesen's extensive library of more than 40,000 charts for airports around the globe while eliminating the volumes of paper charts once required on the flight deck. These electronic charts give pilots the information they need to take off, land and taxi safely, showing routes, hazards, airport layouts and more. The application allows pilots to switch instantly from one chart to another, for instant viewing of the information they need. Pilots can zoom, pan and select numerous viewing modes, including a night viewing mode that Jeppesen built using human factors-inspired design principles.
The terminal chart application is part of a suite of Jeppesen applications and data which comprise the Jeppesen Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) software set. Boeing is using the Jeppesen software and hardware from Astronautics Corp. of America to create the Boeing Class 3 Electronic Flight Bag, the only fully certified EFB in commercial service today.
"The introduction of the new Terminal Charts application into service on our Boeing EFB is timely, as we are upgrading our product and services to provide a new flight experience for our customers. This innovation enables optimum management of flight data by our operating crew for that new flight experience to our customers as well as increased cost savings for the airline," said Dato' Captain Nawawi Awang, Senior General Manager, Flight Operations, Malaysia Airlines. "Working with Boeing and Jeppesen, we will use the system towards more efficiency, eventually eliminating paper terminal charts. After using the system successfully for the past two months, we're confident we'll reach our goal soon."
The Boeing Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) and the Jeppesen Terminal Charts applications are major steps toward e-enabling the air transport system for all airplanes. Through its integrated, modular applications, the EFB brings a new level of digital information delivery and management to the flight deck. Boeing and its subsidiaries offer content, applications, and services that connect all the data generated by an entire flight operation -- in the air, on the ground and in the hangar -- meaningful to all users, including pilots, mechanics, flight attendants, operations departments, airport users and other potential customers.
Technical background on the EFB
The EFB Class 3 architecture has two flight deck-mounted display units (DU) and two electronic units (EU) mounted in the main equipment bay. The EUs provide the display to the DUs, which show the selected applications, allow transfer of display between the two DUs (so flight crew members can view each other's display), and control unit brightness. The open architecture of the EFB Class 3 system allows airlines (or third-party suppliers) to develop software for the Microsoft Windows® processor using a software development kit provided by Boeing and Jeppesen. The software development kit will include application programming interfaces that will provide access to onboard communications and the flight deck printer.
This modular, integrated hardware and software package calculates performance figures, displays charts, improves taxi positional awareness, provides video flight deck entry surveillance, and allows electronic access to documents. The EFB helps airlines realize flight operations and maintenance cost savings, improved safety, and enhanced access to digital documents and configuration control.