United Airlines has announced that it will be getting rid of paper flight manuals in favor of iPads. The airline will be distributing a total of 11,000 iPads, with one going to each United and Continental pilot to replace his or her flight bag. Distribution of the iPads actually started earlier this month, and with tablets expected to be in the hands of all pilots by the end of the year.
The iPads are replacing the pilot’s traditional flight bag, which typically contains close to 38 pounds of paper. The move to iPads over the paper will reduce the paper used in printing, as well as fuel consumption of flights who have to carry around the extra poundage on trips. United expects the iPads to save 16 million sheets of paper and 326,000 gallons of jet fuel per year.
“The paperless flight deck represents the next generation of flying,” said Captain Fred Abbott, United’s senior vice president of flight operations. “The introduction of iPads ensures our pilots have essential and real-time information at their fingertips at all times throughout the flight.”
British Airways announced this past weekend it would be equipping al of its pilots with iPads. Alaska Airlines also recently announced it would be replacing in-flight manuals for pilots with the tablets.