AA First Airline to Go Fully Paperless in Cockpit with iPads

By Dan Collins on 12 September 2012
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Screenshot of Jeppesen Mobile FD

Screenshot of Jeppesen Mobile FD

American is the first airline to begin using iPad’s as electronic flight bags, which are computerized logbooks and checklists for all segments of flight.  By using iPads, the need for as much as 35 pounds of physical documentation on board the aircraft is eliminated, and the reduction in weight is expected to save the airline $1.2 million per year in fuel costs based on today’s prices.

American is the first airline to gain approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Apple iPad is the only device currently approved by the FAA to be used for such in-flight functions.  The tablets will use FAA-approved software and data from Jeppesen, a unit of Boeing Flight Services. Jeppesen has produced charts and manuals for the aviation industry as well as marine and rail operators that have been widely used for several decades. The FAA is evaluating additional tablet devices for future inclusion and use.

The iPads running the Jeppesen app will first be deployed in American’s Boeing 777 aircraft and the airline hopes to stop updating paper flight manuals by January 2013, pending FAA approval for electronic flight bags in each additional aircraft type. American will provide an iPad to every active pilot and instructor in order to have them acclimate to the interface.

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