American Airlines moves paper manuals to tablets

June 25, 2013

We wrote last week about a school district that will soon be providing each student with his or her own iPad, complete with educational software. The goal is to help students be more well-versed in the tools they will likely be using in the workplace, as well as allow all students to be on the same page when it comes to their own technology resources. But there are other benefits of moving to a tablet-based industry as well, as American Airlines has recently discovered.

The airline announced this week that pilots will no longer be carrying paper manuals and maps on flights. Instead, each will have their own iPad with all the information. This move is expected to save American $1.2 million per year, not from printing costs, but from the reduction of fuel— the paper books can weigh more than 35 pounds each, NPR explained. American tested using electronic flight plans on two Los Angeles flights, to Tokyo and Shanghai, before giving all pilots the option to switch to iPads.

American is not the first airline to allow pilots to use iPads. Alaska Air began this transition last month, and Air Canada has started carrying digital manuals on board, but American Airlines is one of the first major airlines to do so. If the two flights can successfully use the iPads, than other airlines may soon follow suit.

In order for airlines to use tablets in flight, however, the information that currently makes up the paper books will need to be digitized. With bulk scanning services, airlines and other businesses that are working to go digital can quickly see the benefits of having electronic flight plans and other documents.

Tab Service Company is a Chicago based company with over 53 years of experience as a data processing service provider.  We provide business with outsourcing solutions for document scanning services, data entry services and mailing/lettershop services.  As a SOC2-approved organization, we apply industry-best practices to our approach with clients.