On June 24, American Airlines announced that they had completely replaced all paper flight manuals and reference guides with electronic versions stored on iPads, called Electronic Flight Bags. The company decided to make the switch to tablets to save on fuel costs and make flying easier for pilots.
Prior to the switch, the airline's pilots would have to carry 3,000 pages of material weighing about 35 pounds on every flight, leading to excess weight. By using tablets, American will save 400,000 gallons of fuel and $12 million annually. In addition, 24 million pieces of paper will be eliminated.
"Our focus on technological improvement throughout our operation has never been stronger as we continue to build the new American," said Patrick O'Keeffe, American's Vice President for Airline Operations Technology, in the news release. "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."
The use of electronic materials will also allow the airline to update these manuals automatically, alleviating some logistical problems and leading to a more efficient fleet.
Previously, American had tested the tablets on Boeing 757 and 767 flights.
The U.S. Air Force has taken the same steps with some of its pilots with the goal of saving energy and increasing efficiency. Those efforts will lead to $50 million in fuel savings due to the decrease in excess weight.
While we don't typically think of Apple iPads as environmentally friendly products, it's clear that they present some green living advantages. Keep checking back with LifeIsGreen.com for more information about how companies are becoming more ecologically responsible.