Technological advances have made multifunction displays and moving maps more common in newer aircraft. Even older aircraft are being retrofitted to include “glass” in the flight deck. [Figure 1] Moving maps improve pilot situational awareness (SA) by providing a picture of aircraft location in relation to NAVAIDS, waypoints, airspace, terrain, and hazardous weather. GPS systems can be certified for terminal area and en route use as well as approach guidance.

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Figure 1. Moving map display
Additional breakthroughs in display technology are the new electronic chart systems or electronic flight bags that facilitate the use of electronic documents in the general aviation flight deck. An electronic chart or flight bag is a self-powered electronic library that stores and displays en route charts and other essential documents on a screen. These electronic devices can store the digitized United States terminal procedures, en route charts, the complete A/FD, in addition to 14 CFR and the AIM. Full touch-screen based computers allow pilots to view airport approach and area charts electronically while flying.

With FAA approval, an operator may replace paper charts as well as other paper materials including minimum equipment lists (MELs), standard operating procedures (SOPs), standard instrument departures (SIDs), standard terminal arrival routes (STARs), checklists, and flight deck manuals. As with paper flight publications, the electronic database needs to be current to provide accurate information regarding NAVAIDS, waypoints, and terminal procedures. Databases are updated every 28 days and are available from various commercial vendors. Pilots should be familiar with equipment operation, capabilities, and limitations prior to use.
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Figure 2. Example of an electronic flight bag