US airline JetBlue
plans to adopt iPads for in-cockpit use. Pilots will be trained on the use of three "core" apps, which will provide real-time status updates and eventually eliminate the need to carry flight bags based on laptops and paper charts and manuals. For Internet access the iPads will connect to a satellite service provided by LiveTV.
The transition is as much about profit margins as helping pilots or passengers. Because current flight bags are so heavy, JetBlue says it expects to drop weight on its aircraft, in turn resulting in less fuel consumption. Whereas an iPad weighs less than 1.5 pounds, a standard flight bag can easily weigh 35-40 pounds.
The Federal Aviation Administration has allowed iPads as electronic flight bags since 2011. JetBlue mentions that the FAA could approve iPads for instrument approach and taxiway charts in the near future.