Metro Aviation is introducing electronic flight bags (EFBs) to its fleet of more than 120 aircraft, which it says will enhance safety and efficiency for its pilots. The EFBs will allow pilots to access charts, maps, company manuals and a variety of weather and flight planning resources. In addition, said the US-based company, enterprise software will allow central control and verification of updates, ensuring pilots have the most accurate information in-hand at all times. Metro’s operational control flight authorisation process, passenger manifests, pilot qualification tracking, aircraft weight and balance, pilot scheduling and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) data reporting functions will all be accomplished through web-based applications.
Jim Arthur, Metro’s director of operations, said: “Metro’s EFB programme raises the bar in helicopter air ambulance operations by enhancing our pilots’ ability to access the information they need to do their job safely and effectively.” He added that pairing the EFBs with the operations software will allow the firm to enhance safety, exceeding the requirements of the FAA’s new helicopter air ambulance regulations.
The FAA gave authorisation for the EFBs following a six-month evaluation period that tested the new technology’s functionality in each type of aircraft operated by Metro. Now that the trial period is complete, the company will provide two iPad devices for each aircraft in its fleet.