2012-01

Portable Electronic Devices as Eectronic Flight Bags

Effective date: 1 June 2012

Reference:  TAM Part 2, Chapter 3 and Part 3, Chapter 2

                  OAM, Chapter 3, Paragraph 314

OPI/Telephone: DTAES 3, 819-939-4810

1. Purpose

2. Applicability

3. Related Material

3.1. Definitions

3.2. Regulatory References

4. Discussion

4.1. Background

4.2. Implementation Process

4.3. Classification of Electronic Flight Bag Systems

4.4. Electronic Flight Bag Installations and Related Evaluation Requirements

4.5. Electronic Flight Bag Operational Implementation Procedures

Appendix A – Examples of "Type A" Electronic Flight Bag Operations

Appendix B – Examples of "Type B" Electronic Flight Bag Applications

Appendix C – Electronic Flight Bag Classification Matrix

Appendix D – Electronic Fligth Bag Evaluation Process

Appendix E – Electronic Flight Bag Evaluation Checklist – Hardware Class 1

Appendix F – Electronic Flight Bag Evaluation Checklist – Hardware Class 2

Appendix G – Electronic Flight Bag Evaluation Checklist – Installed Software

Appendix H – Operational Evaluation at the Fleet Level

Appendix I – Operational Evaluation Checklist – Fleet Level

Appendix J – Operational Aircraft Evaluation

Appendix K – Operational Evaluation Checklist – Aircraft


1.   Purpose

1.1.  The purpose of this document is to:

  1. provide guidelines for the certification, airworthiness and operational approval of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) used as Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs);
  2. specify the principle that all EFBs to be used on an aircraft are to be subjected to a defined evaluation process;
  3. minimize the burden on operators, installers, manufacturers and regulators by specifying that some EFB evaluations can be delegated;
  4. provide specific guidance material for certain EFB applications and approvals and establish certification, airworthiness/installation, and operational approval guidance for EFB systems; and
  5. provide checklists to assist operators, installers and regulators in evaluating EFB implementations.

1.2.   This advisory is not mandatory, nor does it constitute a regulation. It describes a means acceptable to the Technical Airworthiness Authority (TAA), but is not the only means to demonstrate compliance with the airworthiness program requirements.

2.   Applicability

2.1.     Technical and Operational Airworthiness Clearance

2.1.1. This document applies to TAA and Operational Airworthiness Authority (OAA) personnel, Fleet Weapon System Managers (WSMs), Senior Design Engineers (SDEs), Authorized Individuals and the aviation industry. This document provides advisory material that must be considered and applied, as appropriate, to the development and approval of the operational and technical airworthiness clearance of Personal Electronic Devices that are intended to be used in the EFB role.

2.1.2. The Operational Airworthiness Manual, Chapter 3, Paragraph 314 provides the following regulatory requirements for Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs):

"If a PED is required for use during critical or tactical phases of flight, on the flight deck, for navigation, and/or for transmitting, the PED must be cleared for use in accordance with the airworthiness clearance process (as if it was an aeronautical product). Even if a PED has been recommended for an unrestricted electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) safety of flight (SOF) clearance, a technical and operational clearance is still required – to ensure that the PED does not interfere with fleet-specific aircraft systems (including egress) and that the aircrew are properly trained to use the PED and to store it when not in use.

2.1.3. The OAM requirements for a PED apply only to EFBs that meet the Class 1 or Class 2 EFB criteria, defined in section 4.3. of this advisory. Class 3 EFBs are not to be considered a PED and the procedures to follow to obtain the airworthiness clearances will be the same for a major design change where the EFB must be treated as part of the aircraft's integrated avionics system.

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3.  Related material

3.1   Definitions

  1. Approved Flight Manual (AFM). For the purposes of this TAA Advisory, the term AFM applies equally to fixed-wing aircraft and rotorcraft. For those fleets that do not have an AFM, those sections of the Aircraft Operating Instructions (AOI) that contain TAA-approved Technical Airworthiness Data (TAWD) can be assumed to be the equivalent of the AFM.
  2. Aircraft Administrative Communications (AAC). AAC data link that can receive/transmit information that includes but is not limited to, the support of applications identified in Appendices A and B of this TAA Advisory.
  3. Data Connectivity for EFB Systems. Data connectivity systems for EFB that support either uni- or bi-directional data communication between the EFB and other systems (e.g., avionics).
  4. Electronic Flight Bag (EFB). An electronic display system intended primarily for cockpit or cabin use. EFB devices can display a variety of aviation data or perform calculations, such as performance data and fuel calculations. In the past, some of these functions were traditionally accomplished using paper references or were based on data provided to the flight crew by base operations. The scope of the EFB system functionality may also include various other hosted databases and applications. Physical EFB displays may use various technologies, formats and forms of communication. These devices are sometimes referred to as auxiliary performance computers (APC) or laptop auxiliary performance computers (LAPC).
  5. EFB System. An EFB system includes the hardware and software needed to support an intended function.
  6. EFB Administrator. The EFB Administrator is the person appointed by the Operational Commander held responsible for the administration of the EFB system within the Fleet or Wing. The EFB Administrator will be the person in overall charge of the EFB system and will be responsible for ensuring that the hardware conforms to the required specification, and that no unauthorized software is installed. They will also be responsible for ensuring that only the current version of any application and data packages are installed on the EFB system.
  7. EFB Software Application. Software installed on an EFB system that allows specific operational functionality.
  8. Interactive Information. Information presented on the EFB that, via software applications, can be selected and rendered in a number of dynamic ways. This includes variables in the information presented based on data-oriented software algorithms, concepts of de-cluttering, and real-time composition as opposed to pre-composed information.
  9. Operating System. Software that controls the execution of programs and that may provide services such as resource allocation, scheduling, input-output control, and data management.
  10. Portable Electronic Device (PED). A self-contained consumer electronic device that is not permanently connected to any aircraft system, although it may be connected temporarily to an aircraft's electrical power system, externally mounted antenna, data bus, or mounting device. PEDs include numerous communications and computing devices, as detailed in Transport Canada Civil Aviation's Advisory Circular (AC) 700-005—Use of Transmitting Portable Electronic Devices. As defined in this TAA Advisory, Class 1 and 2 EFBs are considered PEDs.
  11. Controlled Portable Electronic Device (CPED). A CPED is a PED that is subject to administrative control by the operator using it. This includes tracking the location of devices to specific airframes or persons and ensuring that no unauthorized changes are made to the hardware, software or databases. A CPED will also be subject to procedures to ensure that it is maintained to the latest amendment state.
  12. Mounting Device. A device that builds up portable equipment. It may include arm-mounted, kneeboard, cradle, or docking stations, etc. It may have aircraft power and data connectivity. It may require quick-disconnect for egress.
  13. Pre-Composed Information. Information previously composed into a static composed state (non-interactive). The composed displays have consistent, defined and verifiable content, and formats that are fixed in composition. Applications based on pre-composed information may contain “contextual access” like hyperlinks or bookmarks.

3.2.    Regulatory References

3.2.1. The following reference materials should be used in conjunction with this document:

  1. Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) Advisory Circular (AC) 700-020, dated August 2011;
  2. Operational Airworthiness Manual (OAM), Version 1.0, Change 5, dated November 2011;
  3. Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) Policy and Guidance, Federal Aviation Administration, 30th Digital Avionics Systems Conference, October 2011;
  4. European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) No 2012-02, dated March 2012.

3.2.2. This TAA Advisory is mainly based upon the regulatory framework established in Regulatory Reference 3.2.1.a. In preparing Reference 3.2.1.a, TCCA collated information from numerous sources. It is prudent that clearance of PEDs used as EFBs on CAF aircraft utilizes this information for guidance and applies it in the military context where applicable.

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4.   Discussion

4.1.    Background

4.1.1. EFBs perform a variety of functions traditionally accomplished using paper references by electronically storing and retrieving documents required for flight operations, such as the AFM, AOI, Flight Crew Operations Manual (FCOM), Checklists and Minimum Equipment Lists (MEL). EFBs are developed to support functions during all phases of flight operations. EFBs may be authorized for use in conjunction with, or to replace, some of the hard copy material that aircrew would typically carry in their flight bags.

4.2.    Implementation Process

4.2.1. This TAA Advisory describes how the implementation of a PED used as an EFB into a CAF Fleet's operations will affect the following:

  1. EFB installation;
  2. EFB certification, where applicable; and
  3. Operational approval.

4.2.2. This TAA Advisory discusses these aspects and describes two evaluation processes: one is directed at the evaluation of the EFB installation, and the other at the operational implementation. The operational evaluation is further divided into an evaluation of procedures and processes, and an aircraft evaluation.

4.2.3. Depending on circumstances, the aircraft evaluations may be carried out separately or as a combined exercise.

4.2.4. The discussion of the evaluation of the installation of the EFB covers both certified and non-certified aspects. It is expected that most evaluations will be conducted by non-TAA personnel, and where this is the case, the only determination that the evaluator has to make with regard to the certified aspects of the EFB (e.g., the mounting provisions of a class 2 EFB) is that they have been approved by the Technical Airworthiness Authority. In other words, the evaluator is not expected to re-evaluate aspects of the EFB that have already been approved by the TAA.

4.2.5. Checklists are provided in the Appendices of this TAA Advisory to assist with the evaluation of the installation and operational aspects of EFBs. Those aspects which are expected to be evaluated as part of the certification process are annotated “[Certification]”.

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4.3.    Classification of Electronic Flight Bags Systems

4.3.1. The hardware and software classes of EFB systems defined by this TAA Advisory are broadly the same as the TCCA, FAA and EASA classifications of EFB systems. Below is a description of the hardware and software classifications.

4.3.2. Hardware Classes of Electronic Flight Bags. Hardware classification is based on the type of the installation of the EFB in the aircraft.

4.3.2.1. Class 1 EFBs:

  1. are portable, i.e., they are not attached to an aircraft mounting device;
  2. should be considered as CPEDs;
  3. may host Type A or B software;
  4. shall not be provided with aircraft data connectivity;
  5. shall be stowed during critical phases of flight. If a Class 1 EFB has been cleared for use with an approved kneeboard mount securely attached to the pilot in a manner that allows its normal use for electronic aeronautical chart applications, then it may be used during critical phases of flight;
  6. shall operate from internal battery power unless a certified power source has been provided for battery charging only;
  7. are not considered to be part of the certified aircraft configuration. Class 1 EFB systems do not require airworthiness approval;
  8. do not require certification approval for their operating system; and
  9. do require operational approval.

4.3.2.2. Class 2 EFBs:

  1. are portable devices connected to an approved aircraft mounting device during normal operations. Their removal from the mount shall not require the use of any tool and should be accomplished by a member of the flight-deck crew easily and rapidly;
  2. shall be CPEDs;
  3. may host Type A or B software;
  4. may be powered from internal battery or through a certified aircraft power source;
  5. may receive data from aircraft systems through a certified interface unit, but unable to send data, except to systems which are completely isolated (in both directions);
  6. are not considered to be part of the certified aircraft configuration, but do require aircraft certification approval for their mounting device, stowage, data connectivity, power connections, etc.;
  7. do not require certification approval for their operating system; and
  8. do require operational approval.

4.3.2.3. Class 3 EFBs are installed equipments that require certification approval of all hardware, mounting and connectivity aspects. The installation of this type of device is covered by existing CAF processes for avionic modifications to an aircraft.

4.3.3. Software Applications for Electronic Flight Bags Systems. This TAA Advisory defines three types of software applications: Type A, B and C. Examples of each software type can be found in Appendix A and Appendix B of this document.

4.3.3.1. Type A software applications are those applications whose malfunction or misuse would have no adverse effect on the safety of any flight operation, i.e., a hazard level defined as no greater than a “no safety effect” failure condition. Type A applications:

  1. may be hosted on any of the hardware classes;
  2. do not require any approval; and
  3. should follow basic human factors guidance as described in Appendix D, Section 3.

4.3.3.2. Type B software applications are applications that do not substitute for, or duplicate, any system functionality required by airworthiness regulation or operational rule. They are applications whose malfunction or misuse would have an adverse safety effect, i.e., a hazard level no greater than a “minor” failure condition classification. Type B applications:

  1. may be hosted on any of the hardware classes;
  2. do not require an aircraft certification approval, but do require operational approval; and
  3. do not have any of the capabilities defining Type C applications.

4.3.3.3. Type C Software applications are those ineligible for classification as Type A or B. Any application enabling the following capabilities are considered as Type C applications:

  1. Displaying information which may be tactically used by the flight crew members to check, control or deduce the aircraft position or trajectory either to follow the intended navigation route or to avoid bad weather, obstacles or other aircraft, in flight or on the ground.
  2. Displaying information that may be directly used by the flight crew members to assess the real-time status of aircraft critical and essential systems, as a replacement for existing installed avionics, and/or to manage aircraft critical and essential systems following failure.
  3. Communicating as primary means to air traffic services whereby the flight path of the aircraft is authorized, directed or controlled.
  4. Sending data to the certified aircraft systems other than the EFB installed resources.

4.3.3.4. Type C applications:

  1. are only applicable to Class 3 EFBs; and
  2. require aircraft certification and operational approval using existing CAF processes.

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4.4.    Electronic Flight Bags Installations and Related Evaluation Requirements

4.4.1. Class 1 Electronic Flight Bags Hardware. Class 1 EFB hardware may, if approved:

  1. be used on the ground and during flight;
  2. connect to aircraft's power through a certified power source to recharge batteries onboard the aircraft;
  3. require quick-disconnect from power sources for egress; and
  4. have receive/transmit data connectivity for Aircraft Administrative Communications (AAC) only whilst on the ground.

4.4.1.1. This TAA Advisory specifies an evaluation of Class 1 EFBs as detailed in Appendix D and the checklist provided in Appendix E. An organization or individual acceptable to the TAA may carry out this evaluation. The evaluation is to confirm that the EFB with installed software:

  1. meets basic human factors and functionality criteria;
  2. can be properly stowed for take-off and landing; and
  3. does not interfere with other aircraft systems or equipment.

4.4.2.   Class 2 Electronic Flight Bags Hardware. Class 2 EFB hardware is attached to the aircraft by a mounting device. In addition to being attached to aircraft mounting devices, Class 2 EFB systems may connect to aircraft power and data ports during normal operation and use.

4.4.2.1. This TAA Advisory specifies an evaluation of Class 2 EFBs as detailed in Appendix D and the checklist provided in Appendix F. An organization or individual acceptable to the TAA may carry out this evaluation. The evaluation is to confirm that the EFB with installed software:

  1. is suitable equipment for use onboard an aircraft;
  2. meets basic human factors and functionality criteria;
  3. can be properly stowed for take-off and landing; and
  4. does not interfere with other aircraft systems or equipment.

4.4.2.2. An evaluation by DTAES staff or a designated representative is required for approval of the applicable mounting device, crashworthiness, stowage, data connectivity and EFB power connection(s). The evaluation should include human factors aspects relating to the mounting device and flight deck location. For convenience, aspects relating to the approval are included in the checklist in Appendix F of this TAA Advisory and are annotated as “[Certification]”.

4.4.2.3. EFB data connections require TAA Certification approval to ensure non-interference and isolation from aircraft systems during transmission and reception. The EFB data connection may receive information from any aircraft system as well as receive or transmit information for AAC purposes. Connectivity may be wired or wireless.

4.4.2.4. Class 2 EFBs do not require compliance with Mil-Spec 810F, Def Stan 00-35 or RTCA/DO-160D – Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment. However, recent changes to the FAA Inspector's Handbook has suggested that EMI/EMC and Rapid Decompression testing should be carried out for both Class 1 and 2 devices when Type B software applications are to be used in lieu of paper-based aeronautical publications in pressurized aircraft during flight.

4.4.2.5. Class 2 EFBs mounting devices, power and data connectivity provisions that are installed by supplemental type certificates (STC) may require an Aircraft Flight Manual Supplement (AFMS) update.

4.4.3.    Class 3 Electronic Flight Bags Hardware. Class 3 EFB hardware is installed equipment and requires TAA Aircraft Certification design approval for all hardware, mounting and connectivity aspects. Clearance of Class 3 devices is already covered by extant procedures for avionic system design changes.

4.4.4.    Type A Electronic Flight Bags Software Applications.

4.4.4.1. Appendix A of this TAA Advisory lists examples of EFB-hosted software applications. Type A applications are EFB applications whose malfunction or misuse would have no adverse effect on the safety of any flight operation, i.e., a hazard level defined as no greater than 'no safety effect' failure condition classification. They typically include pre-composed, fixed presentations of data currently presented in paper format.

4.4.4.2. Type A application software does not require compliance with RTCA DO-178B – Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification.

4.4.4.3. Type A software is to be installed for, and included in, the evaluations described in paragraphs 4.4.1, 4.4.2 and 4.4.3 of this TAA Advisory. These evaluations include demonstrating that the EFB operating system and hosted application software meet the criteria for the appropriate intended function and do not provide false or hazardously misleading information. A checklist for the evaluation of installed software is provided in Appendix G of this TAA Advisory.

4.4.5.    Type B Electronic Flight Bags Software Applications.

4.4.5.1. Appendix B of this TAA Advisory lists examples of EFB Type B applications. Type B applications are those that do not substitute for, or duplicate, any system or functionality required by an airworthiness regulation or operational rule. Malfunction or misuse of a Type B application would have an adverse safety effect, i.e., a hazard level no greater than a ‘minor’ failure condition classification. They would include dynamic, interactive applications that can manipulate data and the presentation of that data.

4.4.5.2. Type B application software does not require compliance with RTCA DO-178B.

4.4.5.3. Type B software is to be installed for and included in the evaluations described in paragraphs 4.4.1, 4.4.2 and 4.4.3 of this TAA Advisory. These evaluations include demonstrating that the EFB operating system and hosted application software meet the criteria for the appropriate intended function and do not provide false or hazardously misleading information. A checklist for the evaluation of installed software is provided in Appendix G of this TAA Advisory.

4.4.5.4. Particular attention must be given to the Type B software that provides interactive performance applications. These applications should be evaluated to ensure that the possibility of entering incorrect data into performance calculations is minimized.

4.4.6.    Type C Electronic Flight Bag Applications.

4.4.6.1. Type C applications are those that are ineligible for classification as Type A or B, and which are required to go through a full TAA aircraft certification approval process. Applications having the following characteristics would be considered Type C:

  1. any application displaying information that may be used by the crew as a primary means to control aircraft attitude, speed or altitude;
  2. any application displaying information that could be used by the crew as a primary means to check or control aircraft trajectory, either to follow the intended navigation route or to avoid weather, obstacles or traffic, in flight or on the ground. Airport Moving Map Displays (AMMD) or presentation of weather, terrain or traffic relative to own ship position could fall into this category if accuracy, refresh rate and resolution are sufficient;
  3. any application displaying own ship position (Note that AMMD may be approved using the guidance of FAA AC 20-159);
  4. any application displaying information that may be used as a primary means by the flight crew to assess aircraft critical and essential systems status, and/or to manage aircraft critical and essential systems following failures;
  5. any application enabling primary means of communications related to air traffic services, or whereby the flight path of the aircraft is authorized, directed or controlled; and
  6. applications, which would raise significant human factors issues due to automatic interactions with other aircraft systems, displays and controls.

4.4.6.2. Type C applications require TAA Aircraft Certification approval. The operating system supporting Type C applications also requires TAA Aircraft Certification design approval.

4.4.6.3. Type C applications shall only be installed on Class 3 devices and would be subject to existing design change approval processes.

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4.5.       Electronic Flight Bag Operational Implementation Procedures

4.5.1.    General

4.5.1.1. Fleets incorporating EFBs into their operations should carefully review the contents of this TAA Advisory to determine applicable requirements, as well as meeting the requirements of the OAA. For the most part, the level of complexity associated with the operational implementation will depend on the class of hardware and type of software used and the intended application (e.g., replace all paper approach charts with electronic charts).

4.5.1.2. Table 1—EFB Classification Matrix in Appendix C of this TAA Advisory summarizes the involvement of the various entities during the operational implementation of EFBs.

4.5.1.3. Regardless of hardware class or software type, the operational implementation will require a structured sequence of events and actions to satisfy both the operator and the regulator that the aircraft equipped with an EFB(s) can be operated safely.

4.5.1.4. All software applications and information contained in the EFB intended for operational use must be current and up-to-date. It is crucial that any electronic representation of TAWD is consistent with the TAA-approved information contained within the Approved Flight Manual (AFM) or combined AFM-AOI. In the case of any discrepancy, the TAWD in the AFM/AFM-AOI shall take precedence.

4.5.1.5. From a process perspective, it is envisaged that the Fleet WSM will:

  1. decide on the class and type of EFBs to use, based on a number of factors including the use of this TAA Advisory;
  2. discuss any implementation concerns with their respective Fleet WSM SDE and staff;
  3. contact the TAA if the implementation requires changes or modifications to the aircraft;
  4. complete all necessary assessment, evaluations, document updates, training, etc.;
  5. monitor that data represented on the EFB is current, up-to-date and does not contradict the TAWD in the AFM/AFM-AOI;
  6. submit changes to AFM/AFM-AOI or other derivative documents to the Fleet WSM SDE for approval/acceptance; and
  7. submit changes to the maintenance schedule to the Fleet WSM SDE for approval/acceptance as required.

4.5.1.6. Operational evaluations are required as detailed in Appendix H, Appendix I, Appendix J and Appendix K of this TAA Advisory.

4.5.1.7. The first evaluation detailed in Appendix H of this TAA Advisory is to ensure that the Fleet WSM has properly addressed CAF implementation of EFBs. An evaluation checklist is provided in Appendix I of this TAA Advisory.

4.5.1.8. The second evaluation detailed in Appendix J of this TAA Advisory is an aircraft level operational evaluation, which would normally be conducted by the Operational Test and Evaluation community. Depending on the circumstances, this evaluation may be combined with the installation evaluation detailed in Appendix D of this TAA Advisory. An associated operational evaluation checklist is provided in Appendix K of this TAA Advisory.

4.5.1.9. The Fleet WSM is responsible for ensuring that these evaluations are conducted. This includes discussing with the TAA and OAA the content, methodology and level of involvement required.

4.5.2.    System Security

4.5.2.1. Civil airworthiness regulators do not currently have specific guidance or policy for EFB system security (Regulatory Reference 3.2.1.d). Aircraft operators are currently required to demonstrate that adequate security measures are in place to obtain suitability of operations approval on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the types of software applications hosted on the EFB system platform, the safety effect on airplane operations will vary based on the EFB intended function.

4.5.2.2. The Fleet WSM should identify a means to demonstrate that adequate security measures are in place to prevent malicious introduction of unauthorized modifications to the EFB operating system, its specific hosted applications, and any of the databases or data links used to enable its hosted applications. EFB systems need to be protected from possible contamination from external viruses.

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