I sat next to a pilot on Friday night on the way to Seattle, and he tracked the flight all the way on his iPad. What app is that? I wanted to know – I want it too! Well, it costs only $35, but one needs to be a pilot to get an activation code. It is an ‘electronic flight bag (EFB)’ application. Flight maps and other essential pilot information that used to be carried into the cockpit in flight bags weighing up to 40 lbs/ 18 kg can now be replaced with iPads or other tablet devices. It is now possible to store all the aeronautical charts for the entire world on a single three-pound/1.4 kg tablet.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is encouraging pilots to ditch their flight bags in favor of its electronic version, but there’s still a long way to go. Not all airlines are going with the iPad, either. Delta Airlines has announced that it’s equipping its 11,000 pilots with Microsoft Surface tablets and not with iPads.