1.5 pounds for 25 pounds.
US-based Alaska Airlines has announced that it will be opting for iPads to replace antiquated paper manuals.
The iPads will be loaded with GoodReader app (good choice!) and 41 different PDF manuals, reference cards and other materials. “The electronic manuals include hyperlinks and color graphics, enabling pilots to find information faster and easier. Updating these reference materials can now be accomplished with one tap on the iPad screen instead of the former, labor-intensive process of replacing individual pages with new ones. The iPad is considered a Class 1 electronic device, meaning it is stowed during takeoff and landing under Federal Aviation Administration regulations.”
The initiative is called “Bye, Bye, Flight bag” which aims to reduce pilot stress and injuries from carrying 25 pound worth of paper, hopefully resulting in “fewer back and muscle injuries caused by pilots carrying flight bags.” An iPad is only 1.5 pounds. The company is currently considering a similar step to replace paper navigation charts.
The move to an electronic device will also help the airline save on printing and distribution expenses, in additional to saving 2.5 million pieces of paper.
“We’ve been exploring the idea of an electronic flight bag for several years, but never found a device we really liked,” said Gary Beck, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of flight operations. “When the iPad hit the market, we took one look at it and said this is the perfect fit.”
Now only if they replace crappy side-arm music channels with iPods, low-res TVs to Netflix-enabled tablets and larger seats, and flight will be perfect.