FAA Approves iPad for American Airlines In-cockpit Use

The Federal Aviation Administration has apparently approved Apple’s iPad for in-cockpit use in airplanes, and American Airlines is set to start replacing pilot’s flight bags with the multimedia tablets on Friday. American Airlines began testing iPads for all phases of flights earlier this year as an alternative to the heavy bags filled with manuals and maps they currently carry.

AA will phase in its new iPad program first with its B-777 aircraft, and then will work on adding the tablet the other planes in its fleet.

American Airlines cockpits going paperless with iPadsAmerican Airlines cockpits going paperless with iPads

The FAA began allowing some airlines to replace flight bags with iPads in July, and companies such as American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and United started test programs to see how well Apple’s technology worked as a replacement for about 40 pounds worth of manuals, documents and charts.

Airlines have been waiting for the FAA to approve the iPad as a complete flight bag replacement, and that’s exactly what sources tell ZDNet has happened.

The change means pilots will have quicker access to the maps, charts and other documents they need to access during take off, landing, and in flight.

American Airlines hasn’t issued an official statement yet — presumably because its staff is busy loading up iPads with maps, charts, and Angry Birds.