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Advisory Circular Updated for the Authorization of Electronic Flight Bags

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Advisory Circular 120-76E published—Authorization for Use of Electronic Flight Bags

The FAA recently published an update to Advisory Circular (AC) 120-76 (Authorization for Use of Electronic Flight Bags (EFB)). As a reminder, this advisory circular does not apply to Part 91 operators (with the exeption of fractional operators under Part 91 Subart K), but can offer guidance and best practices for anyone operating with an EFB. Those operating under Part 91 do not require a specific FAA authorization for use of an EFB. For additional information on utilizing an EFB, see the Electronic Flight Bag Legal Briefing for Pilots—2024 Edition from iPad Pilot News.

Advisory Circular (AC) 120-76E is intended for those operating under Part 91 Subpart K, Part 121, Part 125 and Part 135 who want to replace required paper information or utilize other applications as part of an EFB Program. Those operators may utilize the information in this AC to develop an EFB Program. An approved EFB Program will provide specifics (e.g., operating procedures, training modules, checklists, operations manuals, flight attendant manuals, training manuals, maintenance programs, minimum equipment lists (MEL), other pertinent documents, reporting procedures, and cybersecurity procedures) for EFB use before the FAA grants approval.

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Advisory Circular (AC) 120-76E is intended for those operating under Part 91 Subpart K, Part 121, Part 125 and Part 135.

Updates to AC 120-76 include:

  • Clarifies the definition of an EFB to underscore that an authorized device displaying Type A and/or Type B EFB applications is considered an EFB.
  • Adds verbiage to address situations when an EFB battery does not have manufacturer-recommended battery replacement intervals.
  • Adds a three month retention period for records of change to an operator’s EFB program.
  • Adds applications to Appendix B, Type B Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) Applications.
  • Updates the definition of Type B applications to remove the requirement that Type B EFB applications be listed in an operator’s operations specifications (OpSpec), management specifications (MSpec), or Letters of Authorization (LOA).
  • Updates phraseology throughout to reflect use by crewmembers other than pilots.


What is an EFB? AC120-76E defines and EFB as any authorized device, or combination of devices, actively displaying Type A and/or Type B EFB applications as part of an aircraft operator’s EFB program. EFBs are characterized by the following:

  • An EFB hosts applications, which are generally replacing the conventional paper products and tools traditionally carried in a crewmember’s flight bag. EFB applications include natural extensions of traditional flight bag contents, such as applications that replace paper copies of weather reports with access to near-real-time weather information.
  • In order to qualify as an EFB application, the failure effect should be considered a minor hazard or have no safety effect.
  • Acceptable EFB applications are listed in Appendix A, Type A Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) Applications, and Appendix B of the AC. These EFB applications may be overlaid or integrated.
  • EFB applications cannot replace any installed equipment required by operational or airworthiness regulations.
  • EFB applications have no certification requirements for installation under aircraft type design (refer to AC 20-173).

Battery Replacement

Battery replacement intervals should meet or exceed the Original Equipment Manufacturer recommendations. If the EFB manufacturer has not specified a battery replacement interval, then the original battery (or cell) manufacturer’s specified replacement interval should be followed. If no recommended battery replacement intervals exist or if the battery is designed to last for the life of the EFB, the operator should continue to monitor the useful battery life for the EFB.

EFB Program Catalog (three month record retention)

The EFB program catalog is a reference of the EFB hardware (make and model) and EFB applications used by crewmembers on each aircraft and maintains configuration management of EFB program elements. An EFB program should have a process defined to keep the catalog current and readily available inspectors. A record should be maintained for any change to the EFB program catalog; this record should be retained by the operator for three months. The catalog should also include the current EFB operating system version and EFB applications to include the current version.

Type B Applications

Type B Applications are those applications that:

  • Have a failure condition classification considered minor;
  • May substitute or replace paper products of information required for dispatch or to be carried in the aircraft;
  • May not substitute for or replace any installed equipment required by airworthiness or operating regulations;
  • Are authorized as part of the operator’s FAA-authorized EFB program (Type B EFB applications are no longer identified or controlled in the OpSpecs, MSpecs, or LOAs.); and
  • Are listed in the operator’s EFB program catalog.

The ADDITIONS to the Type B Application list found in Appendix B of AC-102-76E include:

  • Audio transcription (intended for use only as a supplemental reference for voice communications).
  • Basic Airborne and Surface Traffic Information.

Note: A depiction of EFB own-ship may be included on the EFB if the aircraft has an installed Traffic Display System (TDS) (i.e., at a minimum, either an Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) In system with a basic airborne application display or Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) II) providing concurrent display of the active traffic, aircraft position, and aircraft trajectory. The EFB application may display additional, unique data elements, such as data outside the reliable surveillance range of TCAS II, but should have sufficient common data to allow the crewmember to resolve discrepancies to qualify as a Type B EFB application.

  • Supplemental oxygen supply calculations for supply duration and/or supply range which are specific to the aircraft being operated.

Note 1: This EFB function is intended to support strategic decision making only. Pilots should rely on the aircraft’s oxygen pressure gauge (analog or digital) for tactical decision making.

Note 2: A depiction of EFB own-ship may be included on this EFB application if the aircraft has a navigation moving map display (navigation display) providing concurrent display of the active flight plan, aircraft position, and aircraft trajectory (e.g., heading if a heading is selected). The EFB application may display additional, unique data elements, such as other oceanic routes, but should have sufficient common data to allow the flightcrew member to resolve discrepancies.

  • Voice and/or video communication with emergency medical assistance services.

The updated AC120-76E can be accessed here.


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