Get ready for takeoff – Microsoft Surface receives FAA Authorization

Microsoft has been working hard to show that their lineup of Surface devices are more than just tablets for media consumption. And on that note, what would be a better place to start proving its productivity value than on a commercial airline? Delta is one of the first airlines to truly get comfortable with the tablet and test it with their commercial pilots (on the ground that is). This week, Microsoft has a collection of news updates that show the true progress happening with their Surface devices and their effort to advance the future of flight.

The first step in getting Surface airborne is to receive authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The official government agency created in 1958 and its adoption into the U.S. Department of Transportation in 1966, makes the FAA an expert administration on aeronautics with over 50 years of experience deciding what flies and what stays grounded.

In an exciting announcement, Microsoft has shared that the FAA has officially cleared their Surface 2 tablets for either Class 1 or 2 EFB usage; this essentially breaks down to the idea that the tablet can be used on an aircraft and in the cabin during any phase of the flight.

American logistics company, Jeppesen, is also stepping onboard the Surface project with their FliteDeck Pro application for Windows 8.1 the app allows pilots to more easily work with their charts and manage flight information. As Microsoft of course wants to point out with Windows 8, pilots can even snap the app to one side of the screen and view other data on the opposite side.

Lastly, world leader for manufacturing mounting systems, RAM Mountings Systems Inc., has revealed a new cockpit system designed with Surface in mind. The new mount is just another way that Microsoft and other companies are coming together to create a safer and more effective future for the flight industry.

All right everyone; let us get these Microsoft Surface units airborne!

Michael Archambault
  • Interesting.  So now pilots can update their facebook status while landing at the wrong airport?  On a side note... can I get that mount for my car?  Can't believe it... I'm actually first comment.  High point of my week. 
  • You could get that mount but unless you have something with a narrow dashboard I think it would block most of your view. I'm certain some police suppliers who make laptop mounts for cars make tablet mounts too (or could be converted)
  • I'm starting to take a really long look at Windows Phone lately. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • You should be. Switch to Windows Phone. ;)
  • Awesome DWR! Welcome to the community. If you have any questions, just let us know! :)
  • Alright! Surface, you're cleared for takeoff! *hurls surface* *picks up pieces* Stupid FAA doesn't know what they are talking about!
  • LFMAO!
  • Lol.
  • Can they play angry birds while in flight?
  • I want one
  • So that's all fine and dandy, but does that mean we'll see more flight-related apps in the store? iOS has tons of very high caliber apps but Win8 has a few. 
  • FAA passed this a while ago, I've been using my surface and WP during the whole flight for a couple months already on Delta. Stupid thing is it doesn't apply from Canada to the U.S on certain flights, it depends on the crew.
  • I'm a helicopter pilot. When is that Jeppesen app coming???
  • Ditto
  • SO much cool. That Jeppesen app sounds great.
  • Next stop, Space Station??
  • Yo dawg, I heard you like flying, so you now can fly Microsoft Flight Sim X while flying in a flight.
    Eh, execution was a little poor...
  • Omg that's fricking awesome, I'm a pilot and I'm all about Surface but was stuck with Ipad just for this very app (FliteDeck), when is it coming to Windows 8.1 does anyone know? What about Win RT?
  • In short, Surface 2 runs Windows RT.
  • So what are the chances that we'll be seeing Foreflight, AOPA or any of the other aviation apps anytime soon. This is a good step but it's useless without the apps. Can Microsoft throw some $$ their way to get them to port the apps over.
  • Oh goodie.  When the Cortana assistant makes it to W8 they can just have her fly the plane or at least set out way points.  It worked for Master Chief  ; )
  • Perfect timing!  I have to fly to Atlanta next week, and was planning some video times during the flight!  I am flying on United, but I will post if I have any issues! :D
  • Haha that's cool. Forget audio conversations. Now pilots can Skype to the control tower!!!
  • Awesome. Now maybe Foreflight will create a W8 app! Tired of seeing all the iPads at the chapter hangar when at EAA meetups!