M1 iPad Pro to be handed out to JetBlue pilots

It isn’t just students getting iPad models this year. Once again, flight crew on a major airline are getting some Apple-branded hardware. This time around, it’s the pilots getting the goods.

Beginning this summer, JetBlue is going to hand out M1-based iPad Pro models to its pilots, the airline announced today. The company’s official press release today says that this is basically a continuation of what the airline has been doing for years. Specifically, JetBlue “was one of the first domestic airlines to use digital documentation in the cockpit.”

The iPad Pro models, equipped with Apple’s powerful M1 processor, will be able to provide safety-critical functions for all crewmembers, and keep pilots “on the cutting edge of technology.” JetBlue actually earned permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to use iPad units in the cockpit years ago, dating back to 2013. JetBlue has been using iPads in the cockpit ever since.

The press release then touts the iPad Pro’s design, its 5G capabilities (which is interesting, considering), and even the Liquid Retina display. And then, from today’s release:

Not only will the new iPad Pro with M1 take our pilots to the next level of advanced technology, but also future-proof JetBlue with top-of-the-line hardware for years to come,’ said Captain Chuck Cook, director communications, navigation, surveillance and technical programs.

Interestingly, new, incoming JetBlue pilots will be the first to get the iPad Pro models with this change. For pilots already working with the airline, they’ll be getting their existing iPad models replaced with the newer M1 models “over time.”

As mentioned above, the iPad is being handed out in big ways. Yesterday, California State University announced that thousands of incoming students would be getting iPad Air units this fall.