Apple iPads now come in handy for pilots

May 2nd, 2011 - 2:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, May 2 (IANS) The tablet may soon become a must-have device for pilots around the world.

Canada’s Sky Regional Airlines has become the first to equip its pilots with the iPad to chart their flight, get the most updated information and save on fuel. In fact, airline pilots used the iPads to operate their maiden Toronto-Montreal flight Sunday.

Before the flight took off, Captain Carl Feldcamp told the local Toronto Star daily that airline has issued iPads to all captains, with an extra iPad for each cockpit.

Two flight attendants on each flight have also been given iPads to check details about boarding times or gates or special meals.

With the iPad, he said, they don’t need to carry heavy manuals filled with rules and regulations. Instead, he said, he taps on his iPad to check everything from flight plans to weather radar pictures.

“You don’t have to carry binders full of charts. All of the charts in the whole world are right in here. And you don’t have paperwork. We have had them for a few weeks. It is awesome,” the newspaper quoted the airline captain as saying.

He said while they are on the ground, the pilots can use the iPad to connect with their head office to get updated information and even hold Skype conversations on Bluetooth equipment.

Once they take off, they switch off wireless connection and use information they have downloaded.

The airline says the iPad will also help it save on fuel by doing away with pounds of paperwork needed for updating information.

Al Read, the airline’s director of operations and security, was quoted as saying that the iPads make it a lot easier to revise procedures or updates electronically, compared with paperwork.

The iPads will eliminate about 50 pounds of paper, helping the airline save on fuel.

“At $112 a barrel(price of oil), every pound is important,” the paper quoted Read as saying.

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