Delta Air Lines Testing iPads as Electronic Flight Bags

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Delta Air Lines is testing iPads for use as Electronic Flight Bags by pilots as an alternative to the heavy bags loaded with charts and manuals they’re currently using. Currently 22 iPads are being assessed as Delta considers using them to change the way they communicate with their pilot workforce, according to Flightglobal.

Delta tests iPads for pilotsDelta is testing iPads for pilots in-flight

Image courtesy of Andrei Dimofte

The test devices include a standardized setup that includes specialized apps for charting, manuals, weather, and pilot e-mail, calendars and rest calculators. They also include iPad basics such as apps for note taking, viewing PDFs, browsing the Web, and locating wi-fi spots. Pilots also have the ability to download additional apps to add to the iPad’s capabilities.

The test iPads are both Wi-Fi and 3G capable. Delta’s domestic fleet is already Wi-Fi capable and they are researching options to extend that to their international fleet.

Delta’s goal is to be able to keep continuously connected with its pilots. It is also looking at being able to use the iPads for training and instant communication with leadership. They hope to be able to use them for real-time security information, re-routing updates, and proximity notifications with airports or specific gates.

Delta will also be testing Android-based Motorola Xooms this fall, and perhaps a third tablet before the assessment is completed.

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Comments

mhikl

Quote: Delta Air Lines is testing iPads for use as Electronic Flight Bags by pilots as an alternative to the heavy bags loaded with charts and manuals they?re currently using . . . . Delta considers using them to change the way they communicate with their pilot workforce, . . . Delta will also be testing Android-based Motorola Xooms this fall, and perhaps a third tablet before the assessment is completed.

Now this looks like Apple’s iPad is not only a consumer miracle but a very capable enterprise solution, too.

I am very impressed that Delta is also giving the Android Queens and possibly another twisted sister a run for their money as well. We, who are Apple interested, a fair minded group, want to know the facts, all the facts and nothing but the facts. It may be that a non-Apple pad will win the race. I am sure that however it turns out, I and other Applefans will be looking at the Android brothel with the respect it is due.

Nothing bias in this point of view.

Mike R

It’s bigger even than just Delta?. Executive Jet already has FAA approval to use iPads as an electronic kneeboard with the Jeppesen app on it and Alaska Airlines is in parallel ops with paper and iPads right now in an aggressive move to get rid of the paper charts.

There is one other bit of collateral change coming as the FAA chases along just as fast to work iThings into the rules?. the iPad may well be cleared for use under 10k feet (nothing specific for references but can see it reading between the lines) as well as being cleared as a Class 2 device meaning it can draw its power from the aircraft.

I am quite comforted to know that they are moving this direction; not that I was that worried when I was flying about the flight crew dragging 35lbs of paper along with them but that it is much more likely that their charts will be definitively up to date.

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