American Airlines to let pilots replace paper with iPads

14 Dec 2011

The iPad 2

American Airlines will become the first airline to let its pilots use iPads for electronic charts and flight manuals.

ZDNet reports American Airlines first conducted tests using iPads through all phases of flights this summer. The test period lasted six months, when pilots flew thousands of hours with iPads to analyse how useful they were for flight.

The US Federal Aviation Administration recently approved iPads to replace pilots’ paper books and charts with digital versions on the tablet computer.

It’s hoped this will replace 35 pounds of paper, saving the airline an estimated US$1.2m worth of fuel per year. It also hopes to improve safety and efficiency by using digital manuals and charts.

The airline will use the iPad on the B-777 aircraft and will be implemented across all other fleets afterwards. United Airlines, Alaska Airlines and UPS Airlines are also considering using the iPad for these operations.