Navtech eCharts Update

Navtech eCharts Update

eCharts imageOver the past year, Navtech has been working on our next-generation charting application for EFBs.  The high-level vision is to develop our current products, eCharts and eCharts Enroute, into a single more pilot-centric and EFB-centric application.  Additionally, the development effort includes a content delivery backend that enables a customer to better manage their charting subscription and its distribution to devices.  This effort has been colloquially called "eCharts 2.0" within Navtech.  Of course we will come up with a much fancier name before the system launches in the market!

On the front end of the new system is an elegantly simple user interface that simplifies the pilot workflow as much as possible.  Navtech has been working closely with Cathay Pacific Airways who has invested a great deal of time, effort, simulator time, and pilot feedback in designing a user interface philosophy that minimizes the number of taps or clicks it takes to accomplish most tasks.  Navtech as also received significant input from the Navtech Charts Council members on this project. The interface is designed to look like other flight deck systems and takes advantage of several integrations with the aircraft to simplify the pilot workload.  This includes combining the rendering of data-driven seamless enroute data in the same application as the viewing of terminal charts and plates.   This application is being developed for Windows-based devices and will be our platform for look and feel standards moving forward.

On the backend, Navtech is combining over ten years of experience of customers using eCharts and eCharts Enroute with lessons we are learning from the release of iCharts with the NAI/CAI backend server.  The vision is to develop a server component that can be hosted by either Navtech (as iCharts NAI/CAI is today) or by the customer.  This component, currently referred to as the Navtech Customer Digital Information Service (NCDIS), will become the channel through which Navtech charting content - both terminal and enroute - will be delivered to the customer.  The NCDIS will also include several features to help a customer manage their charting subscription.  Within NCDIS the customer will be able to validate new chart revisions, add customer-specific aerodrome information and pages, configure workflow automation features in the EFB application, and upload customer-authored documents for browsing within the charting application. 

Ultimately the vision is to use NCDIS as the content delivery between Navtech and the customers' EFBs for all charting content, regardless of what device the content is being viewed on.  Navtech believes that tablet devices will become ubiquitous through the airlines, even when an installed EFB is being used on an aircraft.  Our vision is to support several platforms with chart-viewing applications that eventually have similar look and feel standards whether the pilot is using an installed device or briefing charts on a personal device at home or in the hotel.  Once we have launched this new EFB charting system on the Windows platform, we will look at the demand for other platforms as well as look at connecting iCharts to NCDIS.

Look for Navtech to start ‘showing off' the look and feel of this new system later this year.  We will be very excited to show customers all the pilot-centric features of this system and get your feedback on our roadmap and product plans.

For more information on Navtech's eCharts please contact Navtech Sales navtechsales@navtech.aero or Navtech's EFB Product Director Heath Bowden.

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