FORT WORTH, Texas, 27 June 2013. American Airlines, having rolled out its electronic flight bag (EFB) program on Apple iPads with Jeppesen software and data, is among the first major commercial airlines to take advantage of tablets in all cockpits during all phases of flight, discontinuing paper revisions to terminal charts.
In April, American completed testing on its Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft. It also has secured FAA approval to use the Apple iPad on all its current fleet types: the Boeing 777, 767, 757, 737, and MD-80.
An EFB replaces more than 35 pounds of paper-based reference material and manuals that pilots often carried in their carry-on kitbag, delivering benefits to the airline and its pilots.
"Our EFB program has a significant positive environmental and cost-savings impact," explains David Campbell, American Airlines vice president of safety and operations performance. "In fact, removing the kitbag from all our planes saves a minimum of 400,000 gallons and $1.2 million of fuel annually based on current fuel prices. Additionally, each of the more than 8,000 iPads we have deployed to date replaces more than 3,000 pages of paper previously carried by every active pilot and instructor. Altogether, 24 million pages of paper documents have been eliminated."
All American pilots now enjoy the benefits associated with replacing their heavy kitbags, one of the airline's biggest sources of pilot injuries, with a 1.35-pound iPad. The digital format also requires less time to update each of the six or more paper manuals found in each pilot's kitbag, as manual paper revisions take hours to complete every month, compared to the minutes it takes for electronic updates.
"Our focus on technological improvement throughout our operation has never been stronger as we continue to build the new American," says Patrick O'Keeffe, American Airlines vice president of airline operations technology. "As the first major commercial airline to successfully complete the Electronic Flight Bag transition across its fleet, we are proud to count this among our other successful programs that provide the tools our people need to perform their duties safely and efficiently."
As part of the Electronic Flight Bag program, American's pilots use mobile software and data from Jeppesen, a unit of Boeing Digital Aviation. The FAA-approved Jeppesen Mobile Terminal Chart application is allowed for gate-to-gate use throughout all phases of flight and, with the exception of a few select documents, replaces paper operating manuals with up-to-date electronic information that is easier to access.
"Working closely together on this program over several years, we take pride in American's achievements as it continues to eliminate paper-based materials in the flight deck, reducing pilot workload and increasing operational efficiency in a competitive business environment," says Jeppesen President Thomas Wede.