Delta Air Lines Testing iPads as Electronic Flight Bags

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.