Airlines Pilots to Replace Paper Manuals with IPads

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American Airlines is expanding its iPad Electronic Flight Bag program after becoming the first commercial carrier to receive FAA approval to use the Apple iPad in the cockpit during all phases of flight.

An Electronic Flight Bag reduces or replaces paper-based reference material and manuals often found in a pilot's carry-on kitbag. Removing the 35-pound kitbag from each American Airlines plane will save an estimated USD1.2 million of fuel annually based on current fuel prices.

American's pilots will start using iPads this month on the airline's 777 fleet. American aims to have FAA approval for use in all fleet types by the end of 2012. Beginning in January 2013, American will stop distributing paper revisions to its flight manuals and most navigation charts.

To ease the transition company-wide, all active pilots and instructors will receive an iPad for use in training and inflight.

"Our Flight Attendants have also been piloting an initiative on handheld tablets, which will give them better information about the customers on their flight and their travel needs. We'll have more to share on this and other industry-leading technologies in the weeks and months to come." said Maya Leibman, American's Chief Information Officer.

As part of the Electronic Flight Bag program, American's pilots will use mobile software and data from Jeppesen, a unit of Boeing Flight Services. The Jeppesen application will replace bulky paper operating manuals with real-time, up-to-date electronic information that is easier to access.

American first received FAA approval to use iPads in the cockpit in 2011, which came several months after American completed testing with pilots using iPads in the cockpit. The first FAA-approved device to be tested is the iPad, and if other tablets are approved by the FAA they will be evaluated for use.

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Tags: american airlines  apple ipad  USA 

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