Lugging around all the charts and papers required by commercial pilots can be a pain – literally. Now comes word Apple’s iPad is taking a load off pilots of one airline, replacing 40-pound flight bags with a 1.5-pound tablet. By the end of May, 8,600 American Airlines pilots will swap the heavy bags of charts, maps and manuals for the iPad, easing one of the industry’s largest sources of injuries…

“We’ve reduced the single biggest source of pilot injuries: carrying those packs,” said Patrick O’Keeffe, American’s vice president of Airline Operations Technology, during his New York City keynote address this week at the TabTimes Tablet Strategy.

The iPad is also expected to trim the airline’s fuel bill by $1 million, as we as cut printing costs, O’Keeffe added. The FAA has so far approved only the iPad for use in the cockpit with American Airlines the only carrier allowed to deploy the Apple tablet throughout flights.

The airline is using Android-based tablets in other operations, some 16,000 Samsung Galaxy Note devices being used by crew members. In one instance, the tablets are used by flight attendants to track food, seating and updates from the gate.

While American is now the only airline approved for widespread use of tablets, other carriers are also rolling out tablets. Australia’s Qantas, for instance, uses iPads for in-flight entertainment, as well as Apple’s iOS 6 Passport feature for digital boarding passes.

U.S. airline passengers are still waiting for the FAA to declare in-flight use of smartphones safe. Earlier this year, a report surfaced indicating the federal agency has preliminarily approved the iPad as safe for flights.

  • While America I think you meant. Second paragraph from the bottom.

    • Nope 🙂
      American airline not America 🙂 read again. American refers to American airline…

  • Kaptivator

    Just love a ladies voice on the airways when flying (regarding the pic). Breaks up the sausage fest in my headset. How does it trim 1mil in fuel by cutting printing cost? +or-45lbs wont make or break you in fuel.

  • inf3rn0

    And yet passengers still cannot use their iPads during the flight. Strange, having read numerous articles with evidence proving that iDevices affect the plane in no way.

    • lmao

      I can just imagine the captains playing angry birds while on auto pilot, and forgetting the bring the charger lol.

  • We provided the source, which is not Apple Insider by the way. This is the source:

    • lmao

      Thank you. You should make this mention more prominent as your posts are littered with links with all (but one) linking back to other idownloadblog posts. Not being nit-picky at all, I just like reading the original sources for some of the more interesting articles.

      Thanks again!

  • Let’s hope the iPads don’t shit themselves mid flight