United Continental Holdings announced it was issuing 11,000 iPads to pilots as a replacement for flight manuals and chart books. The 1.5-pound tablet will supplant the nearly 38 pounds of paper instructions, data and charts pilots use to guide them. The iPads are pre-loaded with Jeppesen Mobile FlightDeck, an airline industry app that provides navigation tools for air, land and sea. Distribution began earlier this month, and all pilots will have iPads by year's end, says Airlines and Destinations.
Captain Fred Abbott, United's senior vice president of flight operations commented:
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.
The move to electronic flight books will save the carrier from ordering 12,000 sheets of paper per pilot, reports GigaOM. Going paperless will also reduce fuel costs. According to United:
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.