As cost of gas and other energy sources continue to grow it’s no wonder that reducing weight on an aircraft is a growing trend in the industry. From lighter seats, growing baggage restrictions, and even implementing lighter technology– the aerospace industry is focused on making commercial flight as efficient as possible.
Last month, Delta Air Lines announced its plan to equip its 11,000 pilots with electronic flight bags (EFB) using the Microsoft Surface 2 tablet, in place of traditional 38-pound pilot flight bags currently maintained on board each aircraft. The switch is estimated to save the airline $13 million per year in fuel and associated costs. In addition the EFB will save an estimated 900 tress each year and 7.5 million sheets of paper.
For Delta, the switch to electronic flight bags also makes maintaining and navigating the materials much more efficient. The tablets will use the FliteDeck Pro application to access all their materials electronically from the tablet. The technology will also provide real-time access to necessary tools and the most up-to-date resources regarding flight paths, weather, and more.
The new EFB is also representative of the growing shift towards tablet interfaces across most industries. From in-flight entertainment platforms, to hand held customer service devices, and now the Electronic Flight Bag, tablets are becoming more and more prevalent in the aerospace industry. Delta has outfitted its flight attendants with handheld Windows tablets for on board customer service including on-board customer purchases or looking up passengers’ flight information.