EFVS: The what and why of Enhanced Flight Vision System

There is no doubt that when you can enhance what pilots can see on approach, especially in inclement weather conditions, you can greatly reduce the risk of accidents or incidents.

In 2017, the FAA introduced an enhanced flight vision system (EFVS) rule. This helped increase the use of vision system technologies, which aim to assist safer landings by virtually eliminating low-visibility conditions.

EFVS explained

But what exactly is EFVS? Enhanced Flight Vision System is an aircraft system that uses a type of heads-up display and imaging sensors to present information to the pilot, such as aircraft information, flight symbology combined with an electronic real-time sensor image of the forward external scene.

In essence, EFVS provides the pilot with a second pair of highly-enhanced eyes. The EFVS, installed on most midsize and large business jets, will show the pilot artificially displayed elements on top of real-world views, such as the horizon and runway – not unlike a video game.

Pioneered by NASA in the late nineties, and then further developed by business jet and avionics manufacturers, EFVS is becoming increasingly widespread which will hopefully drive down pricing allowing the benefits of this technology to find its way into more aircraft. Now, military requirements are driving further EFVS innovations, which in time should then become standard on general and commercial aircraft as well.

What are the benefits of EFVS?

The technology allows pilots to land safely at airports even in limited visibility due to haze, smog, smoke, fog, or simply darkness. This can help minimize delays and prevent aircraft from being rerouted. Most importantly, it greatly reduces the likelihood of runway incidents and potentially accidents.

EFVS Operations

There are two types of EFVS:

  • EFVS Operations to 100 feet above TDZE

In this case, EFVS is only activated when descending below Decision Altitude/ Decision Height (DA/DH) to 100 feet above the Touchdown Zone (TDZE). From 100 feet onwards to the TDZE, you must use natural vision.

  • EFVS Operations to Touchdown and Rollout

Alternatively, EFVS from Operations to Touchdown and Rollout allows you to activate EFVS from descent below DA/DH, until the plane reaches normal taxi speed.

Do I need an LOA for EFVS?

While a Letter of Authorization (LOA) for EFVS is not required within the United States, it is often mandatory when flying internationally, especially in the EU.

To make sure that you can use all of your EFVS capabilities when flying abroad, apply for the LOA so you’re covered.

We can help

To make things easy, we can help prepare all the required LOA documentation you’ll need to present to the FAA. Part-135 Operators should bear in mind that they also need to send the FAA an evaluation plan.

Our new EFVS Operations Manual makes the entire process even simpler. We cover procedures for EFVS to 100 feet above TDZE, as well as touchdown and rollout.

Have questions? Contact our experts.