American pilots test iPads with electronic charting capability

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Pilots at American Airlines have undertaken final testing of Apple iPads equipped with electronic-charting functionality.

American, its pilot union and Jeppesen worked together to develop the electronic-charting capabilities. The final testing entails American's Los Angeles-based Boeing 777 pilots testing the FAA-approved iPad tablet devices on two flights departing Los Angeles to Tokyo and Shanghai, said American.

In a statement the carrier's Allied Pilots Association (APA) said in 2010 the FAA authorised American pilots to use iPads as electronic flight bags (EFBs), and the union states now the carrier is the first airline to deploy iPads with the electronic-charting solution.

"The final testing phase is a prelude to FAA approval of the devices to serve as Class 1 electronic flight bags during all phases of flight," said APA.

Highlighting recently tabled plans by Alaska Airlines of its intent to become the first US domestic airline to issue iPads as Class 1 portable EFBs to all its pilots APA stated: "It's clear that American Airlines stands at the forefront of a significant industry trend."