FAA Updates Commercial EFB Guidelines

AC includes new flexibility on own-ship positioning.

electronic flight bag
The FAA’s recently updated AC 120-76D clarifies the definition of an electronic flight bag.Air France

Aircraft operating under part 91K, 121, 125, or 135, that use an electronic flight bag as a replacement for carrying required paperwork such as instrument approach plates or aircraft manuals, will want to spend some time with the guidelines in FAA's recently updated AC 120-76D.

The new version clarifies the definition of an EFB as a device that hosts or displays applications that are natural extensions of traditional flight bag contents and generally replace conventional paper products and tools. The agency wants operators to understand that EFBs cannot replace any piece of installed aircraft equipment required by operational or airworthiness regulations.

The updated AC 120-76D also provides fresh guidance for the in-flight depiction of own-ship position with EFB applications like electronic charts. Until now, the agency did not allow own-ship EFB positioning on moving map displays. Now, the FAA says an EFB may overlay own-ship position on an "only when the installed primary flight display, weather display, or map display also depict own-ship position."

As with others ACs, the guidance in 120-76D shows just one way an operator may earn EFB authorization, but the document is not intended to dictate the only method. While AC 120-76D is not regulatory, it does require operators who use this document for guidance to follow all guidelines outlined in the AC in order to qualify for authorization.