ATA 46 Information Systems

LEGEND

Procedures Required

(O) – An operational procedure
(M) or (M#) – A maintenance procedure
(O)(M) or (O)(M#) – Both operational and maintenance procedures

Repair Interval Categories

Category A

Items in this category shall be repaired within the time interval specified in the "Remarks or Exceptions" column of the air operator's approved MEL. Whenever the proviso in the "Remarks or Exceptions" column of the MMEL states cycles or flight time, the time interval begins with the next flight. Whenever the time interval is listed as flight days, the time interval begins on the flight day following the day of discovery.

Time Limited Dispatch - Some MMEL's for aircraft that are equipped with FADEC engines have relief that is subject to time limited dispatch expressed as a specific number of engine hours, and will start in accordance with the times established by the engine manufacturer or as indicated in the remarks column of the MMEL. Time limited relief cannot be extended.

Category B

Items in this category shall be repaired within 3 consecutive calendar days excluding the day of discovery.

Category C

Items in this category shall be repaired within 10 consecutive calendar days, excluding the day of discovery.

Category D

Items in this category shall be repaired within 120 consecutive calendar days, excluding the day of discovery. To be considered for placement in Category D, the item must be of an optional nature, or excess equipment which an air operator may, at his/her discretion, deactivate, remove from or install on an aircraft.

To be approved for Category D, the item must meet the following criteria:

  1. the absence of the item does not adversely affect crew member's workload;
  2. the crew members do not rely on the function of that item on a routine or continuous basis; and,
  3. the crew members' training, subsequent habit patterns and procedures do not rely on the use of that item.

Category D relief will generally not be approved for equipment which is considered to increase the level of safety, even if that equipment is of an optional nature.

ITEM:  46-20-1  ELECTRONIC FLIGHT BAGS

System and Sequence No. Item Repair
Interval
Category
Number
Installed
Number
required
for
dispatch
Procedures
required
Remarks or Exceptions

Electronic Flight Bag Systems (EFBs) ***

Class 3 EFBs C - - (O)

May be inoperative provided alternate procedures are established and used.

NOTE:
Any function, program or document which operates normally may be used.

D - 0 May be inoperative provided procedures do not require its use.
Data Connectivity (Class 2) C - - (O) May be inoperative provided alternate procedures are established and used.
D - 0 May be inoperative provided procedures do not require its use.

Power Connection (Class 1 & 2)

C - - (O) May be inoperative provided alternate procedures are established and used.
D - 0 May be inoperative provided procedures do not require its use.

Mounting Device (Class 2)

C - 0 (M)(O)

May be inoperative provided:

a) Associated EFB and hardware is secured by an alternate means or removed from the aircraft, and

b) Alternate procedures are established and used.

D - 0 (M)

May be inoperative provided:

a) Associated EFB and hardware is secured by an alternate means or removed from the aircraft, and

b) Procedures do not require its use.

DISCUSSION:

References:  FAA PL 121 (Original, 6 Sep. 2007)

The purpose of this Guidance Book Item is to establish guidelines for Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) relief for Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs) and associated software applications.  Recent industry requests have identified the need for standardizing MMEL relief for Electronic Flight Bags.  There are currently numerous retrofitted EFBs available to operators.

FAA Advisory Circular 120-76A contains current information and guidance relating to the definition and certification of Electronic Flight Bags and their software applications.  The various classes are defined below.

EFB systems having Class 1 hardware are generally commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) based computer systems used for aircraft operations, are portable, are not attached to an aircraft mounting device, are considered as Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) such as PDAs (Personal Data Assistants), tablet PCs (portable tablet computers), laptop computers, etc., may connect to ship’s power and/or obtain read-only data through a certified power/data source, and, if using only a Type A software application, are not required to go through an administrative control process for use on an aircraft.

EFB systems having Class 2 hardware are generally COTS based computer systems used for aircraft operations, are portable, are considered a PED, are required to go through an administrative control process to add, remove, or use in the aircraft, and are attached by means of a mounting device either directly to the aircraft (albeit removable) or by use of devices such as a knee-board, cradle, docking-station, etc.  These devices may connect to ship’s power and/or obtain read-only data through a certified aircraft power/data source.

EFB systems having Class 3 hardware are mounted and electrically connected to the aircraft as permanently installed equipment and require TCCA design approval.  These devices may be connected to essential and/or critical aircraft data busses and may be used for other aircraft data communication applications.

Type A software applications are pre-composed, fixed presentations of data that are also currently presented in paper format.  These software applications may consist of manuals relating to the operation of the aircraft including an operator’s MEL.  Additional examples of Type A software applications may be found in AC 120-76A, Appendix A.

Type B software applications include dynamic, interactive applications that can manipulate data and presentation.  These applications may consist of terminal charts, electronic logbook, electronic weight & balance, aircraft performance data including calculation capability for takeoff, enroute, and landing operations, electronic checklists, air to ground data links, aeronautical weather data, etc.  Additional examples of Type B software applications may be found in AC 120-76A, Appendix B.

Type C software applications may include primary flight displays, TCAS, ADSB, moving map displays, own-ship position, etc.  These applications require AIR design approval unless the software is user modifiable, which may be utilized to host Type A or B applications.

The purpose of this Guidance Book Item is not to exclude Class 1 & 2 EFBs from the operator’s MELs.  If desired, relief for Class 1 & 2 EFBs may be negotiated with an operator’s MEL approval authority for inclusion as Administrative Control Items in that operator’s MEL.

This item specifically addresses relief for Class 3 EFBs and mounting devices, data connectivity, and power connections associated with Class 1, and 2 EFBs.

FAA Differences:  FAA relief is identical to TCCA.

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