The use of iPads by pilots is starting to become more and more common these days. Perhaps initially they might have been considered novelties and entertainment devices, but it appears that United Airlines has taken the iPad rather seriously and has announced today that they will be making a full transition to the iPad.
Flight bags, for those unfamiliar, are bags carried by pilots which contains operating manuals, navigation charts, handbooks, etc and can weigh up to 38 pounds. Swapping out to the an iPad which weighs less than 1.5 pounds is a smarter and more elegant solution, which is what United Airlines plans to do by rolling out 11,000 iPads to United and Continental pilots.
According to the press release:
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.
Let’s hope that the pilots don’t forget to keep them charged!