Tom Haines

How Jeppesen is transitioning to digital

August 14, 2011 by Thomas B. Haines, Editor in Chief

Jeppesen Digital Presses

With its new Mobile FliteDeck iPad app, you might think Jeppesen has only recently begun a strategy to move away from paper charts, but you would be wrong. During a recent visit to Jeppesen headquarters in Denver, I was once again reminded of a strategy put in place a decade ago by the company’s leadership to transition away from paper.

While the true paperless cockpit is just now arriving, the transition has been successful, if not complete. Not many years ago, Jeppesen printed some 8 billion (that’s with a “B”) pieces of paper–paper en route charts and terminal procedures. This year it will only be about 1 billion. An even bigger difference is that now, most of that printing is done as print-on-demand instead of offset printing on mammoth presses.

The digital print-on-demand process is much more efficient and cost-effective. Today, if you special order an approach book, for example, chances are it will come off the digital press today and be in the mail today. No longer must Jeppesen guess how many people will want that book and then print extras on the offset press.

Take a look at the video link at the top of this post for a quick look at how the print-on-demand presses work and stay tuned as Jeppesen continues to work with its customers to transition to an all-digital world.

A more indepth video look at Jeppesen’s charting operation is on AOPA Live.

The best replacement yet for paper charts is the iPad. A look at Jeppesen’s new FliteDeck Mobile app is also on AOPA Live.

5 Responses to “How Jeppesen is transitioning to digital”

  1. Pranesh Dey Says:

    Hi Thomas,
    Despite automation and glass cockpits, pilots are still provided with basic conventional flight instruments as back-up, just in case. Will that also be the case with digital charts. Do pilots still have to lug the paper version?

  2. Tom Haines Says:

    The short answer is no, you don’t have to lug paper charts, especially for FAR Part 91 operations. For a more indepth answer and the details, see our Pilot Counsel article from the March 2011 issue of AOPA PILOT:

    Here’s a direct link to the advisory circular that explains it:

  3. Pranesh Dey Says:

    Thanks Tom

  4. Jan Melkebeek Says:

    It does not look all clear to me. I am a long-time user of Jeppesen Jeppview but until now I always carry the printed approach charts of destination and alternates with me, as well as the en-route charts. Recently I bought an IPad2, and it’s really amazing (I have loaded both FC and FD apps from Jeppesen). But it is still not clear to me how the FAA or NTSB will use the AC in case of an incident (or worse, an accident) if I do not have a paper backup. The wording is just too ambiguous.I simply do not trust these kind of laws or AC’s, and I certainly do not trust lawyers to defend me…(they just want my money, in Euros :-( ).
    Now I put my IPad2 on the floor or my lap , but if I fix it temporarily it on a support so that a possible copilot can read it, it would not be legal any more?
    If I could leave all the paper things at home, my 172RG (and me) would have to carry some 5 or more kilograms less of weight!

  5. avery business card paper staples Says:

    Thank you from Portbraddon 😉

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