During takeoffs and landings, it’s prohibited on airplanes to use any electronic devices. We know it’s a bit of a nuisance for many travelers but the same rule applies to the airplane crew, including the pilots. Until now, that is.
According to treehugger, American Airlines will be making the switch from paper flight charts to iPad tablets. Yes, the switch will save a lot of paper, but a benefit that we wouldn’t have thought about is the savings in fuel by eliminating paper weight on the planes. The required paperwork that pilots carry onboard currently can weigh as much as 35 lb. Compare that to a 1.5 lb iPad. The switch will also save space in the cockpit.
Image: Nick Bastian Tempe, AZ/Flickr
It’s estimated that this difference in weight will save AA $1.2 million per year in fuel costs, plus the savings they will make in paper. Searching data and the ability to zoom in on maps could also potentially make life a lot easier for the pilots. The US-approved tablet will be able to be safely switched on during takeoffs and landings, a first in the airline industry, but passengers’ devices will still have to remain off.
It certainly sounds like a win-win-win situation — less paper, less fuel, and happier pilots.