United Airlines Hands Out 11,000 iPads To Its Fleet Of Pilots

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The FAA forces us to turn off our electronics during takeoff and landing. Tell them you want that rule changed.
The FAA forces us to turn off our electronics during takeoff and landing. Tell them you want that rule changed.

Delta was the first U.S. airline to deploy the iPad, with 22 devices replacing weighty flight bags for a number of its pilots. Now United Airlines is also taking Apple’s device to the skies, but with a slightly larger roll-out that will see 11,000 of the tablets handed out to all United and Continental pilots.

Just like those used by Delta, United Airlines’ iPads will replace 40-pound flight bags, that typically include paper flight manuals, logbooks and aeronautical charts, with Apple’s 1.5-pound tablet. Pilots began receiving the devices earlier this month, with the roll-out expected to reach all pilots by the end of the year.

Captain Fred Abbott, United’s senior vice president of flight operations, said this is the next generation of flying:

“The paperless flight deck represents the next generation of flying. The introduction of iPads ensures our pilots have essential and real-time information at their fingertips at all times throughout the flight.”

Here’s how the iPads will be used by United:

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.

Just like those employed by Delta, I’m sure United’s devices will be restricted to use during pre-flight, and when the plane is above 10,000 feet. Will you feel safer in the hands of an iPad on your next United Airlines flight?

[via The Loop]