iPad Navigational Maps OKd For Some Charter Pilots


Well-known member
Mar 3, 2006
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IPad navigational maps OKd for some charter pilots

Sonja Elmquist, Bloomberg News

Monday, March 7, 2011

Apple Inc.'s iPad won approval from U.S. regulators to display navigational charts for some charter pilots, a step that may speed the end of the decades-old tradition of paper maps in the cockpit.

With the Federal Aviation Administration endorsing iPads in a test project at Executive Jet Management, a unit of Warren Buffett's NetJets, the way is open for pilots at airlines and other commercial carriers to seek authorization for the devices, said Les Dorr, an agency spokesman.

IPad use by professional pilots would support Apple's goal of winning more business buyers. The company's total corporate sales may rise 51 percent to $11.3 billion in 2011, said Brian Marshall, a Gleacher & Co. analyst in San Francisco. Revenue was $76.3 billion last year.

"This is mission-critical computing," said Marshall, who has a "buy" rating on Apple. "For them to win this type of approval speaks volumes about the level of sophistication of what can be accomplished with the iPad."

Charts showing data such as airports and radio frequencies for a state or region have been staples of U.S. flying since the 1930s, when they replaced the road maps used by early aviators. With private pilots already able to use electronic navigation devices, the practice of following a pencil-on-paper route has been fading in recent years.

Apple's tablet wasn't cleared as a navigation device in a professional cockpit until FAA's Feb. 1 approval to Executive Jet, whose parent, NetJets, is owned by Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Executive Jet said it made 250 flights as part of the certification process.

While the decision only covers Executive Jet, commercial carriers now have a template for winning permission for iPad use, according to Jeppesen, the Boeing Co. map and accessory business that designed the application in the test.

Pilots at Alaska Airlines, which uses only paper charts in its 116 aircraft, are testing iPads for some functions, said Marianne Lindsey, a spokeswoman. American Airlines and American Eagle rely on paper charts in its 900-plane fleet, said Ed Martelle, a spokesman.

Delta Air Lines Inc., the world's second-largest carrier, is "still vastly paper driven," according to Gina Laughlin, a spokeswoman. Delta is pursuing approval to test iPads and other tablet devices next quarter, Laughlin said in an e-mail.

The iPad's touch-screen and illumination display could be an advantage over folded paper in finding information such as an emergency-landing site, said John Cox, a former US Airways pilot who is now chief executive officer of consultant Safety Operating Systems LLC in Washington. "It's easier to sort through the charts that you need."


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Nov 25, 2001
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We were suppose to have them by Feb. But the company did not specify Feb of what year...