Air Canada rolls out paperless pilot manuals

November 8, 2013

Delta may be one of many American commercial airline companies to ditch paperback pilot manuals, but after other airlines, including American Airlines, have begun to use electronic flight plans and other digital solutions, Air Canada has decided to make a similar switch. In the past, this Canadian airline experienced difficulty lowering its debts, the company is changing some of its processes between now until 2019. Chief executive Calin Rovinescu expect that switching to digital manuals will reduce costs, while increasing overall efficiency at the airline.

“If you thought about this a year and a half ago, it would be almost inconceivable to be in the position we are in today,” Rovinescu told the Globe and Mail. “We have a company today that it’s clear, its objective is sustainable profitability.”

Although the manuals seem to be a small change to reduce Air Canada’s cost, it is expected to” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>save them at least $3 million per year.

On some of Air Canada’s flights, there are as many as four pilots on board, each of them carrying their own 35-pound manual, which adds 140 pounds to the aircraft. When jet fuel accounts for 30 percent of the business’ expenses, the switch to digital manuals is meant to be a long-term investment that will reduce time spending looking for valuable information.

Instead of flipping through pages, tablets are much easier to navigate with a search option within the device. Whenever Air Canada wants to update the manual, it can be easily installed onto the device whereas previously, pilots would have to manually take out pages and replace them with up-to-date information.

“It’s a much more efficient process,” Rovinescu explained.

Additional new measures include using lightweight paint on the body of the airplanes, which will make the jets anywhere between 1,1000 to 1,700 pounds lighter. At Air Canada, tablet use began within its parent company Sky Regional as a way to work toward a more paperless office. Once these changes are fully rolled out, Rovinescu hopes to reduce the price per average seat mile by 15 percent.

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