American Airlines is expanding its iPad Electronic Flight Bag program, as pilots of AA’s 777 aircraft begin using the popular tablet during all phases of flight this month. It is estimated the program will save an estimated $1.2 million a year in fuel costs.
The iPad is currently the only tablet approved by the FAA as an Electronic Flight Bag, and American Airlines is the first commercial carrier with FAA approval to use the iPad in all phases of flight, the company highlighted this week in a press release (viaThe Next Web). An Electronic Flight bag reduces or replaces paper-based reference materials and manuals usually kept in a pilot’s carry-on kitbag. When stuffed with paper, those bags can weigh as much as 35 pounds.
In June 2011, American became the first commercial carrier to gain approval to use the iPad as an Electronic Flight Bag. American now plans to use the iPad in all phases of flight.
“This is a very exciting and important milestone for all of us at American Airlines as we work to modernize our processes and best meet the needs of our people,” said Captain John Hale, American’s vice president of flight. “With this approval from the FAA, we will be able to use iPad to fully realize the benefits of our Electronic Flight Bag program, including improving the work environment for our pilots, reducing our dependency on paper products and increasing fuel efficiency on our planes. We are equipping our people with the best resources and this will allow our pilots to fly more efficiently.”
American Airlines pilots will use software and data from Jeppesen, a division of Boeing Flight Services. The application will replace paper operating manuals with real-time, electronic information that will be easier for pilots to access.
iPad use will rollout this month on AA’s 777 fleet, and the airline hopes to gain FAA approval for all of its fleet by the end of the year.
Beginning in January of 2013, American Airlines plans to stop distributing paper revisions to its flight manuals and most navigation charts.