American Airlines announced it will be replacing bulky paperwork in the cockpit with the Apple iPad. Subbing the traditional 35-pound paper manuals for the 1.5-pound tablet is expected to save $1.2 million worth of fuel a year.
“By eliminating bulky flight bags filled with paper, (electronic flight bags) mean less weight for pilots to carry, reducing the possibility of injury on duty,” First Officer Hank Putek, a member of the APA Safety Committee, said in a news release. “In addition, they enable pilots to immediately download updates, rather than waiting for paper versions of required documents to be printed and distributed.”
The airline officially began its six-month test run with the new gadget on two American Boeing 777s flying from Los Angeles to Tokyo and Shanghai.
The iPad also has an electronic tracking function that was recently approved by the Federal Aviation Administration to test it for electronic charts. However, the FAA said pilots will still be required to carry a hard copy of the manual as a backup.