Even though many airlines and aircraft manufacturers have claimed they would move towards a tablet-based flight kit – American Airlines is the company thus far to have made the switch.
The digital flight kits come in the form of an iPad and will replace nearly 35 pounds of paper-based flight material and manuals. After being tested on the company’s Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft, the digital flight bags will be used in every aircraft cockpit, during every stage of flight.
Using iPads in place of paper is expected to save 400,000 gallons and $1.2 million of fuel annually based on current fuel prices. Not only that, but each of roughly 8,000 iPads deployed to date replaces 3,000 pages of paper previously carried by each and every pilot or instructor – saving 24 million pages of paper documents.
Updating each of the manuals – that would normally take hours – now only takes minutes thanks to the digital format.
Apart from the environmental impact and time-saving benefits, the iPads are also likely to reduce the number of pilot injuries caused by the heavy paper kit bags – one of the airline’s biggest sources of injuries.
The Jeppesen Mobile Terminal Chart application is FAA-approved and the airlines regional partners will also have the option of adopting digital flight bags from July 10 this year.