Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs) represent one of the most exciting aspects of the commercial and business and general aviation communities. In recent months, Avionics has talked to some of the industry’s biggest names as it pertains to EFBs, learning how the capabilities achieved the level they have reached today and where the technology is going in the future.
For example, ForeFlight co-founder and CEO Tyson Weihs recently explained how his company has helped transform the way pilots access information in the cockpit. Right now, ForeFlight is researching ways in which the company can create algorithms that leverage sensor or flight-planning data or a pilot’s usage patterns to customize applications to a particular pilot. For example, the company is looking at how it can present information more contextually to help a pilot in climb, versus a pilot in cruise or doing laps around a pattern.
Prior to speaking to Weihs, we learned about an innovative research project the FAA is involved in regarding the use of tablets by pilots for the SWIM Terminal Data Distribution System (STDDS), which the FAA notes is capable of converting raw surface data collected from Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facilities into easily accessible information. The information is published and made accessible via the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS) Enterprise Messaging Service (NEMS). A potential use of STDDS is to overlay the status of other aircraft on or moving toward active runways.
AEEC’s EFB Users Forum is the conference that provides a platform for evolving the way pilots use EFBs in commercial passenger and air cargo cockpits. In May, it will be interesting to witness how the forum’s coordination with the International Air Transportation Association (IAA) EFB Task Force addresses the achievement of paperless operations, NextGen/SESAR initiatives, the business case for EFBs and a number of other design and installation topics.
Avionics will be attending the event in May, eager to learn what type of new capabilities will be enabled in the near future for commercial airline pilots’ use of EFBs. AVS