Flying is terrifying for me, which is arguably illogical. Plane crashes are fairly rare, but turbulence still causes me to wet my pants (no, not literally). What tends to calm me is knowing that a professional pilot is in charge of the plane, and is using the best technology.
Unfortunately my choice for the best tablet, the Surface Pro 3, was not previously permitted for use as an electronic flight bag for pilots during the entire flight (an EFB is a device used for performing flight management tasks). This changes today however, as both the FAA and EASA give Microsoft a big thumbs-up, and authorises it for uninterrupted in-flight use.
"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", says Cyril Belikoff, Senior Director, Microsoft Surface
Belikoff further explains, "we are also announcing today that navAero is now part of the Designed for Surface (DFS) accessory partner programme 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".
Pilots have people's lives in their hands, and passengers deserve to have a pilot empowered with the best technology. By gaining unceasing access to the Surface Pro 3, they can be more productive. More importantly, the larger screen should allow pilots to consume content in a more enjoyable way, with less eye strain.
Do you feel more comfortable knowing that your pilot is using the Surface Pro 3? Tell me in the comments.