British Airways deploys navigation apps in the cockpit

British Airways' planes will now use electronic navigation charts supplied by Lufthansa Systems to improve its pilots' user experience. The new systems will enable British Airways to have a more efficient charting distribution process and allow the pilots to use the charts in a more interactive and effective fashion.

The airline will use the new Lido/mPilot iPad app or the electronic Lido/eRouteManual depending on the aircraft type. The two companies have signed a “long-term agreement” for the supply of the systems, said Lufthansa Systems, which is wholly owned by the Lufthansa Group.

The electronic Lido/eRouteManual and the Lido/mPilot app will provide British Airways with navigation charts for take-off, en-route and landing procedures. The charts also include airport taxiway charts, approach and take-off charts and a worldwide enroute map. All of the route information, including altitude, communication and airport data, is generated directly from the Lido navigation database.

“Our pilots are extremely impressed by the clarity of the electronic charts and the smart and intuitive features of the app. This is an exciting and significant step on our journey towards a near-paperless flight deck,” said Captain Simon Scholey, chief pilot technical at British Airways. “The teams from British Airways and Lufthansa Systems have worked closely together over the last year to develop the apps. We look forward to further collaboration in the future to develop additional innovative features.”

The charts’ identical arrangement on different media – the electronic Windows-based Lido/eRouteManual and the iPad app – combined with the intuitive user interface, offers maximum flexibility when introducing them in the cockpit, said Lufthansa. The navigation charts' clear colour-coding and self-explanatory symbols support “visual thinking”, said the supplier. Pilots can also select the level of detail displayed by the charts on the screen.

The majority of the British Airways 260-plane fleet is using the new Lido/mPilot iPad app. Only the new Boeing 787 and A380 aircraft use the Windows-based electronic Lido/eRouteManual. These aircraft are also using the Lido/AMDB airport mapping database from Lufthansa Systems for ground navigation.

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