November 15, 2017: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an updated Advisory Circular (AC) for aircraft system designers, installers and operators seeking design and use guidance for hosting electronic flight bag (EFB) applications on both portable devices and installed equipment.
The AC includes important changes that offer industry new EFB applications and the ability to manage their EFB programs with considerably less FAA involvement. An EFB is an electronic information management device that helps flight crews carry out flight management tasks more easily and efficiently with less paper.
The FAA worked closely with industry, other regulatory authorities, and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Operations Panel to harmonize EFB guidance. In particular, the new policy eliminates all guidance associated with EFB classification, clarifies the definition of an ‘EFB’, and reorganizes EFB application software types according to safety importance.
This latest guidance document also made two major changes requested by aviation stakeholders. First, the FAA is removing its earlier prohibition on the display of aircraft location during flight on various EFB applications. Previously, this function was only available on the ground. Additionally, new EFB program management guidance will permit the operator to make many of the day-to-day changes to EFB applications without having to contact their FAA principal inspector.