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American Airlines receives FAA clearance for iPads to be used by pilots

by Doug Drinkwater

December 14 2011

Having trialled iPads working with electronic charts in the summer, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has now deemed that American Airlines' pilots can use the iPad or iPad 2 on a more permanent basis.

The airline will begin using the iPad on the Boeing 777 aircraft later this week, specifically on the B-777 aircraft.  American Airlines will then look to slowly deploy the tablet to the rest of its fleet in the near future.

Boeing itself has been encouraging airlines to test the iPad, in the hope to get its own flight navigation apps on the flight deck in a bid to enhance efficiency.

When speaking to ZDNet, Seattle Pi estimated that replacing the 35 lb. flight bag with an iPad across all of the AA’s fleet could save American Airlines $1.2 billion in fuel costs alone.

It is believed that other airlines, such as Alaska Airlines and United Airlines, are looking to start using iPads for their pilots. Shipping company UPS is also interesting in deploying tablets to its pilots, according to ZDNet.

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