Sunday, May 29, 2011

Alaska Airlines ditches paper flight manuals for iPads


The iPad has already gotten the go-ahead from the FAA as a replacement for paper flight charts and maps, and now Alaska Airlines has become the first major US airline to hop on board the paperless bandwagon. While it's not quite ready to ditch paper navigation charts just yet (though that is under consideration), the airline has announced that it will be replacing its traditional flight manuals with iPads, which will be loaded up with the GoodReader app and PDFs of 41 different manuals and other materials. According to the airline, that change will result in savings of about 2.4 million pieces of paper, and it says the cost of the project will be offset by fuel savings from the reduced weight, and additional savings that are expected from "fewer back and muscle injuries caused by pilots carrying flight bags," which can weigh up to 50 pounds. Let's just hope those newly lightened flight bags still have room for a charging cable.
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