Date of Award


Access Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Aviation


College of Aviation

Committee Chair

Steven Hampton, Ed.D.

First Committee Member

Dothang Truong, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member

Robert E. Joslin, Ph.D.

Third Committee Member

Paul A. Craig, Ed.D.


This research used an adapted version of the extended Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT2) to examine electronic flight bag (EFB) acceptance and adoption for general aviation (GA) pilots. EFBs are a common tool in almost all types of aviation and feature many useful capabilities such as the ability to display traffic, weather, and aviation charts. Despite their potential benefits, while some pilots choose to use EFBs in their flight operations, others continue to rely on traditional paper charts and reference materials. Determination of which factors explain differences in pilot acceptance and adoption of EFBs could influence EFB user interface design, impact development of training and education programs, inform EFB sales and marketing strategies, or have implications for the development of EFB regulation and certification guidelines.

The research design featured an online survey of GA pilots. 703 responses were collected, of which 589 were valid for analysis after data preparation and cleaning. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) revealed a lack of discriminant validity for three of the seven UTAUT2 exogenous constructs, so the full structural model was modified to remove those constructs. Structural equation modeling (SEM) of the modified full structural model was conducted using the IBM Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS) Statistics 25 and the Analysis of Moment Structures (AMOS) plugin.

Effort expectancy, hedonic motivation, and price value had a significant effect on behavioral intention to use EFBs, however social influence was determined to not be a significant factor. Age had a small but significant moderating effect on the relationship of price value on behavioral intention to use EFBs but was not supported as a moderator of either effort expectancy or hedonic motivation. Similarly, gender was shown to have a small but significant moderating effect on the relationship of effort expectancy on behavioral intention but was not supported for price value or hedonic motivation.

In contrast to the limited effects of age and gender, experience using EFBs had a significant moderating influence on three of the four UTAUT2 constructs in the modified

UTAUT2 model used. Experience using EFBs had a significant moderating effect on effort expectancy, price value, and hedonic motivation, while experience using EFBs did not moderate social influence.

This research fills a gap in the literature as it is the first scholarly research conducted to determine what factors affect pilot decisions to use EFB technology. The results contribute to an improved understanding of pilot acceptance and adoption of EFB technology in the general aviation context and show that the UTAUT2 theoretical model of technology acceptance and adoption has utility in the aviation context for voluntary use technologies. The study also identified weaknesses in the UTAUT2 survey instrument and potential improvements that could be made to the UTAUT2 theoretical model.