American Airlines has now become the first major commercial airline in the world to replace pilots’ bulky flight bags with iPads. Not only are iPads easier to handle than a 35 pound kitbag, they also reduce the risk of back injuries for pilots significantly. The initial step in this move was taken back in 2011 when pilots were shifted to an iPad app instead of printed navigation charts. Back in May American Airlines had announced that all 8,600 pilots would be touting iPads by the end of the month, the roll-out has now been completed.
The FAA has approved American Airlines pilots to use their iPads on all phases of the flight across their entire fleet, these include Boeing 777, 757, 767, 737 and the MD-80. The airline projects using iPads would save them 400,000 gallons of fuel every year and will also eliminate the need of printing inflight documents on millions of pages. They have currently phased out over 24 million pages of documents already. The FAA is also expected to make some changes in rules regarding usage of e-readers and tablets during flights for passengers, on some aircraft passengers might even be allowed to use these devices from gate-to-gate.