The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has finally approved the iPad for in-flight use by pilots, allowing them to replace their 40-pound flight bags with the popular and versatile tablet.
According to ZDNet, American Airlines will be the first to bring iPads into the cockpit, and is set to become the first airline in the world to make full use of the iPad through all of their pilots, and in all phases of flight.
The iPads are loaded with hundreds of charts, maps, and digital flight manuals, which will improve safety and efficiency on deck by allowing pilots faster and easier access to the information they need.
Due to the significant weight reduction (from a 40 pound flight back to a 1.3 pound iPad), the in-cockpit use of iPads is expected to save around $1.2 million per year in fuel costs.
*Update: American Airlines has officially begin issuing iPads to all their pilots starting December 16, 2011.