FAA clears American Airlines to replace heavy flight manuals with Apple iPads
Pilots of American Airlines can kiss their heavy black flightbags goodbye as the FAA has granted the airline the necessary clearance for the airline’s 8,000-plus pilots to use iPads in aircraft cockpits.
The iPads will replace bulky black flightbags, many weighing 35 lbs. and more, that all pilots regardless of airline are required to have with them in the cockpit. The flightbags contain airport maps, navigation charts and hundreds of pages of other data that might be needed in an emergency or at anytime during a flight.
Following the change, expected to be complete by January, 2013, the American Airlines expects upwards of $1.2 million in annual fuel cost savings by switching to the much lighter iPads.
The iPads will be equipped with software developed by Jeppesen, a unit of Boeing Flight Services. The Jeppesen software, approved for use on aircraft from push back to destination gate arrival, will include real-time, up-to-date electronic information that is expected to be much easier to access than the hundreds of pages of paper in the old-fashioned black flightbags.
Now if we could just get the FAA to allow passengers to use their devices non-stop throughout the flight…