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FAA Approved American Airlines To Be The First To Use iPad For Pilots Instead Of Paper Flight Charts

What would you prefer: a bag full of papers and charts, weighing 35 pounds or a small tablet containing all that data in neat, digital form? This question becomes even more important if you are a pilot on an airline. Apparently, American Airlines has decided to go with the latter option. According to news, American Airlines is the first airline to replace flight bags with iPad tablets. Come Friday, the first round of American Airlines pilots will fly with iPads in their hands and no printed manuals.

American Airlines is not the only one who has decided to make this shift. A number of other US airlines are considering the option. American Airlines made the final decision after six-month trail run. And now that it has made the transition, there is a huge change that other airlines will follow suit.

How iPad is better than flight bags?
In our age of technology and digital data transmission, it was inevitable that sooner or later, the airlines switched to some kind of digital charts for pilots. And iPad is now providing them just the kind of equipment they need to do so. According to an official of APA Safety Committee, the replacement of flight bags with iPads is mightily advantageous. According to him, this means less weight to carry for pilots and much faster transmission of data and updates. Seattle Pi estimated that this change will help airlines save up to $1.2 million per year in fuel charges.

While American Airlines if the first one to make this change, other airlines such as UPS, United and Alaska are also considering it. If indeed the trend catches up, this can open an all-new, lucrative market for tablet-makers.

Image courtesy Yutaka Tsutano. & 9to5mac.

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