On the official Microsoft Surface Blog, Cyril Belikoff (Senior Director, Microsoft Surface) stated the following; “Today, we’re announcing that Surface Pro 3 has qualified for authorization for use as an EFB during all phases of flight, as defined by both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Through this assessment process, Surface Pro 3 completed rigorous environmental and situational tests, satisfying a lengthy and important part of the FAA authorization process. Now, when airlines look to select the feature-rich Surface Pro 3 for their EFB initiatives, deployment timelines will be significantly decreased, and the device itself may be used to its full computing potential, versus serving just as a simple document reader.“
Surface Pro 3 receives FAA clearance: navAero
Belikoff also talked about the navAero mount which is designed to allow the Surface Pro 3 to be mounted in an aircraft.
She said, “we are also announcing today that navAero is now part of the Designed for Surface (DFS) accessory partner program and will build a mount that enables Surface Pro 3 to connect to onboard power and data systems in the cockpit. Not just a paper replacement device, this new solution lets airlines enable a true connected cockpit experience and so much more“.
Surface Pro 3 receives FAA clearance: FliteDeck Pro
Finally, Belikoff discussed the FliteDeck Pro software stating; “Jeppesen’s industry-leading FliteDeck Pro application is available for Windows 8.1, helping to further complete the EFB solution on Surface Pro 3. The app allows pilots to view their digital charts side-by-side with other data such as gate information or real-time weather directly via Surface. This solution distributes encrypted operational data and documents efficiently, ensuring timely and accurate delivery of navigational and operational information to pilots and other users. Jeppesen’s FliteDeck Pro 8.0 running on Surface Pro 3’s large 12” screen is well tailored for life in the cockpit. Touch-screen capability, real-time charting data from Jeppesen, and multiple-application split screen are just a few of the great features that pilots and flight crews can access to increase their job effectiveness.”
So, if you’re a pilot and a Surface Pro 3 owner, your cockpit experience might be getting a lot better in the near future. By gaining uninterrupted access to your Surface Pro 3, you can be more productive and, the larger screen should allow you to view content with less eye strain.
Even if you’re not a pilot, this could be good news for you because the next time you fly, your pilot might have a bigger screen to view the information he needs to safely get you to your destination. On the flip side, it could be an unnecessary distraction.
So what do you think? Is the Surface Pro 3 in the cockpit a good idea or an unnecessary distraction?
Tim Rolston is a professional geek with over 23 years of experience working in Information Technology and dealing with everything from large-scale storage to remote systems management and automation for organizations such as Texas Instruments, Mobil Oil, and the University of Michigan (where he was an Academic IT Director).
He co-founded JTRTech along with Joanna to realize his long-time dream of working for himself.