United Airlines To Replace Pilot’s Flight Bag With iPads

Delta Airlines using iPads

It looks like iPads are taking over the airlines.

Last week, we reported that Delta Airlines was testing iPads as electronic flight bags (EFBs), a device intended to replace the pilot’s flight bag, which includes documents like Aircraft Operating Manual, Flight Crew Operating Manual, and Navigational Charts that are bulky and heavy.

British Airways also announced that it is giving iPads to its cabin crew to improve customer service in the air. Now, United Airlines has announced that it is deploying over 11,000 iPads to all United and Continental pilots as EFBs to enhance efficiency, save fuel and improve safety.

United Airlines announced:

United Continental Holdings, Inc. today announced that it is converting to paperless flight decks and deploying 11,000 iPads to all United and Continental pilots. The electronic flight bags (EFB) replace paper flight manuals, and as a first for major network carriers, provide pilots with paperless aeronautical navigational charts through an iPad app. Distribution of iPads began earlier this month, and all pilots will have them by year end.

The iPads will come pre-installed with Jeppesen Mobile FliteDeck app that is available for free in the App Store (iTunes link) for subscribers of the service. It includes the following features according to the iTunes page:

• Data-driven and interactive enroute display
• Display of your aircraft position on enroute display and airport diagrams
• Standard airway manual text
• Arrival, departure and approach procedures
• Chart change notifications (terminal and enroute)
• Full-color, high-quality, vector-based data with amazing details and zoom capabilities
• Basic routing

United Airlines also goes on to add how it plans to save fuel and the environment by rolling out these iPad:

Each iPad, which weighs less than 1.5 pounds, will replace approximately 38 pounds of paper operating manuals, navigation charts, reference handbooks, flight checklists, logbooks and weather information in a pilot’s flight bag. A conventional flight bag full of paper materials contains an average of 12,000 sheets of paper per pilot. The green benefits of moving to EFBs are two-fold—it significantly reduces paper use and printing, and, in turn, reduces fuel consumption. The airline projects EFBs will save nearly 16 million sheets of paper a year which is equivalent to more than 1,900 trees not cut down. Saving 326,000 gallons of jet fuel a year reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 3,208 metric tons.

Let’s hope the airlines realise that it is fine to put the iPad or iPhone in flight mode during take off and landing, instead of insisting that we should turn them off. That’s probably wishful thinking.

[via United Airlines]