American Airlines make iPads standard tool in cockpits

There are many companies that have experienced the increased productivity and profitability that come along with iPad deployment. Streamlined operations, improve connectivity and reduced clutter caused by paper are just a few of the benefits that offices on the ground have experienced, but what about those in the air?

While iPads have been used to replace various components in smaller aircraft, American Airlines (AA) this week became the first U.S. airline to receive approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to use the tablets as a replacement for Kitbags, according to an article from Skift.

What the device will be replacing is roughly 25 pounds of paper. These include flight manuals, approach plates, navigation charts, policy manuals, minimum equipment lists and taxi charts. Now multiply that by 900 – just over the number of planes currently in AA's fleet – and the result is a logistical nightmare that makes the decision to go digital all the more sensible.

To get the OK from the FAA, the airline needed to do more that show what the tablet could do. It also need to subject the iPad to a decompression test to prove it could handle it and still be functional. On top of that, AA had to test mount the tablet into the cockpit to make sure it made operational sense.

With airlines struggling to turn a profit, any way to cut costs that do not affect the customer experience is a plus.

"Despite AA's many troubles over the past year, it has become an early adopter among airlines from SXSW hackathons to paperless cockpits," Samantha Shankman, the author of the piece wrote. "This is a trend that can truly differentiate the new American."

Your organization does not need to jump through all of these hoops to incorporate iPads into daily business operations. Just partner with an IT consulting firm that is familiar with the gadgets and Mac integration and get up and running.