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Alaska Airlines Replace Paper Flight Manuals with iPad

Alaska Replace Paper Manuals

We mentioned how Apple retail stores have been revamped to replace paper signs with the more eco-friendly and customer-interactive iPads but it seems like places other than Apple have decided to join in the revamping.

As part of an ongoing effort to use technology to enhance flight safety, improve efficiency, and protect the environment, Alaska Airlines have decided to issue iPad to their pilots, replacing paper flight manuals pilots are required to carry during flight.  This process of handing out iPads will wrap up by mid-June.

This process has made Alaska Airlines the first domestic airline to use the iPad to replace paper manuals (Alaska Airlines).

“We’ve been exploring the idea of an electronic flight bag for several years,” vice president of flight operations Gary Beck said, “but never found a device we really liked.  When the iPad hit the market, we took one look at it and said this is the perfect fit.”

The phrase “there’s an app for everything” applies here as well as there is an app called “GoodReader” which is loaded with PDF versions of 41 flight systems and performance manuals, reference cards, and other materials.  The material can be upgraded using one tap on the iPad’s screen, replacing the labor-intensive process of replacing individual pages with new ones.  Since the iPad is recognized as a Class 1 electronic device, it will be stowed during takeoff and landing under the Federal Aviation Administration’s regulations.

Along with ease of use, it’s also cost-effective.  There will be lower paper, printing and distribution expenses and reduced fuel consumption (since some weight is removed from the planes).  And along with cost-effectiveness, the iPads will also be beneficial to the pilot’s health.  There will be fewer back and muscle injuries caused by the flight bags (over 50 pounds).

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