United Airlines Deploying 11,000 iPads to Pilots as Electronic Flight Bags
Over the past several months, we've made several mentions of commercial airlines testing the iPad as a replacement for flight bags used by pilots. The testing programs have been looking to replace bulky and heavy flight bags full of navigational charts and other materials with iPads in order to reduce the weight of pilots' bags and save fuel on flights.
United Airlines today announced that it has gone a step further, committing to a full transition to using iPads as electronic flight bags and rolling out 11,000 iPads to United and Continental pilots.
Each iPad, which weighs less than 1.5 pounds, will replace approximately 38 pounds of paper operating manuals, navigation charts, reference handbooks, flight checklists, logbooks and weather information in a pilot's flight bag. A conventional flight bag full of paper materials contains an average of 12,000 sheets of paper per pilot. The green benefits of moving to EFBs are two-fold--it significantly reduces paper use and printing, and, in turn, reduces fuel consumption. The airline projects EFBs will save nearly 16 million sheets of paper a year which is equivalent to more than 1,900 trees not cut down. Saving 326,000 gallons of jet fuel a year reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 3,208 metric tons.
The report notes that the iPads will streamline pilots' work by eliminating the need for thumbing through sheafs of paper or waiting for pages to print. The iPads will reduce clutter on cramped flight decks and offer quick and easy access to required data at all times.