American Airlines has decided to go paperless by introducing iPad to their pilots. An iPad will replace all of up to 38 lbs of logs, manuals, handbooks, flight checklists, and weather reports that are present in the airplane cockpits while inflight. Aside from cutting back on the weight that the aircraft carries and eventually saving on fuel expenses, this move will also save around 12,000 sheets of paper per flight. Of course, switching to an iPad will definitely improve the way pilots react during emergency situations. After all, leafing through 12,000 pages to find answers is the last thing pilots would want to do during a crisis at 35,000 feet above sea level.
American Airlines expects to save up to $1.2 million per year by going paperless. This estimated amount comes from computing the volume of fuel that can be saved by flying without 38 lbs of paper in cockpits. Additionally, iPads will considerably reduce healthcare costs because of back and shoulder pains caused by lugging around a baggage full of paper materials. This will also lessen absenteeism rates of pilots thus allowing further savings for airline companies.
To date, 11,000 Apple tablets have been distributed to pilots of commercial airlines around the US. This number is expected to rise as more airline companies gain the approval of the FAA to switch to iPads. American Airlines obtained their approval last June. Among the other US commercial airline companies that have been given the go ahead for using iPads in their cockpits are United Continental and Alaska Airlines.