AppleInsider reports today that American Airlines has joined with Alaska Air in testing the use of iPads in the cockpit to replace paper flight navigation charts. According to MarketWatch, American Airlines has already started the pilot programme, using a specialised iPad app featuring flight navigation charts. Itís estimated that American Airlines will save over a million dollars per year in fuel costs if it does make the switch from paper charts to iPads, as the paper charts that the iPads would be replacing weigh in at over 35 pounds.
The tests are currently taking place on American Airlines flights between Los Angeles and Tokyo and Shanghai, so that sounds like they want to see how well the system works on the long-haul routes, which would presumably be using the biggest charts. I know we have a lot of pilots on the forum who might be able to shed more light on that!
This is all possible since the FAA recently gave permission for the iPad to be used at any time during a flight, including when the plane is taking off and landing, marking the first time such permission has been granted for a tablet.
Source: AppleInsider | American Airlines to save $1.2 million shifting paper flight charts to iPad