Sunday, 29 May 2011

iPads For Pilots


Alaska Airlines is dumping paper flight manuals for its pilots in favor of electronic documents stored on company-issued iPads.   Yes, the Seattle-based carrier will be the first major U.S. airline to make the switch from paper to iPad when all its pilots receive a tablet by mid-June. Alaska is making the switch "as part of an on-going effort to use technology to enhance flight safety, improve efficiency and protect the environment," according to a statement from the airline.

Apparently the iPad was the first device to impress Alaska higher-ups enough to consider going digital.

"We've been exploring the idea of an electronic flight bag for several years, but never found a device we really liked," Gary Beck, Alaska VP of flight operations, says in the statement. "When the iPad hit the market, we took one look at it and said this is the perfect fit."

Pilots will get iPads with GoodReader installed with PDF versions of flight, system, and performance manuals in addition to reference cards and other materials. The electronic manuals are also being updated to include hyperlinks and colour graphics, which Alaska says helps pilots find information "faster and easier" than with the traditional paper documents.

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