Almost half of aviation safety experts (48%) agree that the iPad is a serious competitor for EFB (Electronic Flight Bag) solutions.

This is the top-line finding of a survey conducted among the fast-growing global membership of the “iPad for Aviation” group on LinkedIn, which already has more than 200 members throughout the world.

Only 4% of respondents said “No – airlines must spend more on EFB solutions”.

More than a quarter (28%) said that the iPad is still “work in progress” as an EFB solution, with a fifth (20%) acknowledging that the iPad can already provide some EFB roles.

Meanwhile, one of the group‘s founder-members, Vistair in the UK, is already providing iPad EFB solutions to such airlines as Flybe and Thomas Cook.

According to Ian Herbert, Managing Director at Vistair: “We already provide iPad-based EFB services, spanning technical manuals and safety-management systems, to many of the world‘s leading airlines.

“The iPad is an enabler, bridging simple-to-use low cost consumer technology with complex and mission-critical business processes in an intuitive and simple context. This technology will revolutionise information delivery to aircrew.

“The simple fact is that the iPad can provide an elegant and simple solution to maximum compliance and minimal cost. It is what the EFB dream has been waiting for,” said Vistair‘s Ian Herbert.

“Right now, such airlines as Flybe and Thomas Cook are using iPads to deliver world-leading compliance and best-practice for e-manuals and safety reporting”, he added.

Vistair‘s global success in delivering e-manuals and safety-management services to such airlines as British Airways, Emirates, every military aircraft flown by the Ministry of Defence, and BMI, have been based on the company‘s cloud-based systems.

“The iPad is the obvious way of making and delivering our cloud-based services even easier and cheaper, as it is a fantastic platform for offline data submission”, said Ian Herbert.

The Vistair iPad apps have been created to follow the familiar standard iPad design principles, so that using the Vistair apps in the field is as simple and as intuitive as any other iPad app”, he added.