United Airlines has announced that it will officially be switching from the traditional 12,000 page “flight bag”(operating manuals, logbooks, reference handbooks, navigation charts, etc) and opting for a more modern approach by handing out 11,000 iPads to Continental and United pilots.

The iPads will come preloaded with Jeppesen Mobile FliteDeck, “the industry’s premier app featuring interactive, data-driven enroute navigation information and worldwide geo-referenced terminal charts.”

From the press release:

“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.”

Not only will the iPads significantly ramp up efficiency by saving pilots from navigating the presumably clunky 12,000 sheets of paper that make up the conventional flight bag, they will also save approximately 326,000 gallons of jet fuel per year, according to the press release:

“The airline projects EFBs will save nearly 16 million sheets of paper a year which is equivalent to more than 1,900 trees not cut down. Saving 326,000 gallons of jet fuel a year reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 3,208 metric tons.”

This certainly isn’t the first time we’ve seen iPads being used as a more efficient alternative; restaurants have begun replacing menus, credit card readers, and cash registers with the tablet, and schools have long been handing them out in lieu of laptops.

Other businesses are bound to adopt the iPad to work for their own needs and perhaps render a lot of traditional hardware extinct in the process.

In what other scenarios could the iPad be used in to help increase productivity/efficiency?

  • Gus


    Pinky: Gee, Steve, what do you want to do tonight?
    Steve: The same thing we do every night, Pinky – try to take over the world!

  • James

    This is all well and good but like everything electrical, there is a chance of fault, at least with a book it will always be there, what if the iPad is faulty or doesn’t turn on etc .. I’m all for technology but sometimes we rely on it too heavily, especially in areas like this, already planes are run more by electronics and fluid etc, there are a lot of accidents just because 1 thing stops working and affects lots of other things.

  • Dane

    They act like no resources go into producing iPads. I bet if you were to add up all the energy and gas used to transport and assemble all the different components of an iPad it is probably a lot less green than a book.

    • Darrin

      Actually its not. The process for all those materials are way more green then a book. Also take into the fact that every new book in the future doesn’t require more production of books just a digital file. There are chances electronics won’t work but multiple pilots and multiple devices makes that less likely a problem. Also just because they have digital copies doesn’t mean they won’t keep one hard copy in each plane. I’m sure they thought this out and this is the cheaper, more efficient route.

      • Wes

        I wouldn’t be so quick to assume they’ve thought anything out. If I was a pilot, I would love to have the iPad version, but wouldn’t trust aircraft safety to a single device. This is just as insane as only requiring a single pilot on a plane

  • Big Gary

    Will they have to power it down before takeoff. HAHA

    • James

      Probs has an airplane mode.

    • there probably 3g ipads

  • :)

    This bullshit is going way too much !

  • they could replace binders notebooks mmedia centers at schools with ipads. 1.3 instead of 40 i need iPads at school!

    • James

      Correction, you want iPad’s at school, you certainly don’t need them !

  • Mattia

    That is actually stupid because you cannot keep an iPad or any electronic device on during take off and landing even if the airplane mode is on 😀

  • Li

    They gonna jailbreak the iPad and then play games when they flying! Gg more crash is gonna happen with iPad on board!