American Airlines has announced the deployment of more than 8,000 iPads to the cockpits of its fleet as part of a new electronic flight bag for pilots. The roll out has lead to American discontinuing paper revisions to its terminal charts, saving money, paper and mess in the future.
To put a number on how much effect the switch will have, the electronic flight bag is replacing more than 35 pounds of paper-based reference materials that pilots carry in their carry-on kitbag. By removing that extra weight from their flights American will save a minimum of 400,000 gallons of fuel and $1.2 million dollars annually, based on current fuel prices.
In addition, pilots will save more time thanks to the elimination of the hours it could take each month to update their paper manuals. Updating the iPad software takes minutes.
"Our focus on technological improvement throughout our operation has never been stronger as we continue to build the new American," said Patrick O'Keeffe, American's Vice President – Airline Operations Technology. "As the first major commercial airline to successfully complete the Electronic Flight Bag transition across its fleet, we are proud to count this among our other successful programs that provide the tools our people need to perform their duties safely and efficiently."
Here's a video look at the system that will be in place from now on in American Airlines flights.
Correction: This story originally reported the company would save $12 million annually due to the change over. We were missing a period, and the actual amount is $1.2 million annually.