FAA lets American Airlines pilots replace 35 pounds of paper with iPad tablets
American Airlines said Monday the Federal Aviation Administration has approved its request to let American's pilots use iPad as an "electronic flight bag," with aviation regulations, manuals and other paperwork on them.
The carrier said it expects to have FAA approval for the iPad use on all its fleet types by the end of the year.
As a result, American plans to issue iPads to all pilots and instructors and replace the paper they typically carry with the electronic files that contain the same information.
"Removing the 35-pound kitbag from each American Airlines plane will save an estimated $1.2 million of fuel annually based on current fuel prices," the carrier said in its announcement.
John Hale, vice president of flight, called the step "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."
"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," Hale said. "We are equipping our people with the best resources and this will allow our pilots to fly more efficiently."
Maya Leibman, American's chief information officer, said American will be talking soon about handheld tablets that American's flight attendants have been trying out.
Those tablets let flight attendants get up to date information about passengers on board the airplane, for example.