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American Airlines becomes the first commercial carrier with FAA approval to use Electronic Flight Bags in all phases of flight

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) has announced it is expanding its iPad Electronic Flight Bag program after becoming the first commercial carrier to receive FAA approval to use the Apple iPad in the cockpit during all phases of flight.

American’s pilots will be using iPad, the only FAA-approved tablet as an Electronic Flight Bag in approved aircraft. An Electronic Flight Bag reduces or replaces paper-based reference material and manuals often found in a pilot’s carry-on kitbag. Removing the 35-pound kitbag from each American Airlines plane will save an estimated $1.2 million of fuel annually based on current fuel prices.

Alaska Airlines is also using the iPad in the cockpit.

As part of the Electronic Flight Bag program, American’s pilots will use mobile software and data from Jeppesen, a unit of Boeing Flight Services. The FAA-approved Jeppesen application, which is allowed for gate-to-gate use throughout all phases of flight, will replace bulky paper operating manuals with real-time, up-to-date electronic information that is easier to access.

American’s pilots will start using iPads this month on the airline’s Boeing 777 fleet. American aims to have FAA approval for use in all fleet types by the end of 2012. Beginning in January 2013, American will stop distributing paper revisions to its flight manuals and most navigation charts.

To ease the transition company-wide, all active pilots and instructors will receive an iPad for use in training and inflight.

American first received FAA approval to use iPads in the cockpit in 2011, which came several months after American completed testing with pilots using iPads in the cockpit. The first FAA-approved device to be tested is the iPad, and if other tablets are approved by the FAA they will be evaluated for use.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Boeing 777-223 ER N757AN (msn 32636) climbs awy from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

American Airlines: 

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