We’ve mentioned Alaska and United Airlines’ approval to use iPads to replace bulky flight manuals in the cockpit. Now American Airlines is following suit. CNet reports that, unlike those airlines, American has received FAA approval to use the iPads at any time during a flight—including during takeoff and landing.
As with the other airlines, the airline expects replacing 40-lb paper manuals with 1-lb iPads to save a considerable amount of fuel—as much as 500,000 gallons per year. (Which makes me wonder just how much fuel they’re using if just dropping 40 lbs can save that much. How long until it all runs out?)
Of course, even if the airline pilots are using iPads from before takeoff to after landing, they still won’t let passengers do the same.
The F.A.A. did say it had limited the number of approved devices in the cockpit to two, one for each pilot. “This involves a significantly different scenario for potential interference than unlimited passenger use, which could involve dozens or even hundreds of devices at the same time,” the F.A.A. said in the statement.
Now is that fair?