“The paperless flight deck represents the next generation of flying,” said Captain Fred Abbott, United’s senior vice president of flight operations, in a press release. “The introduction of iPads ensures our pilots have essential and real-time information at their fingertips at all times throughout the flight.”
“What makes the iPad more attractive, in comparison to its competitors, is that it is extremely stable and is less likely to experience a system crash. Even if that did occur, the reboot time is one of the fastest in the tablet market,” said Resolve Market Research analyst Kari Cafouros. “These advantages are more appealing to companies when choosing to give out tablets to their employees, compounded by the fact that they know their employees already want the device for personal usage.”
The switch to tablets on board aircraft isn’t just good for Apple. United’s plan will save 16 million sheets of paper and 326,000 gallons of jet fuel a year, because each 1.5-pound iPad will take the place of about 38-pounds of operating manuals, flight charts and checklists, logbooks, and informational papers pilots normally reference. Paper-based flight bags normally house over 12,000 sheets of paper… per pilot.
The iPads will run software called Jeppesen Mobile FliteDeck, which includes interactive route navigation information and geo-referenced terminal charts.