US Airways eyes iPads, other tablets as possible EFBs

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Star Alliance member US Airways is looking at iPads and other tablets for potential electronic flight bag (EFB) use, the carrier revealed in its latest employee newsletter.

US Airways stressed, however, that tests "still need be conducted to make sure there aren't any interferences with other flight deck instrumentation".

Currently in the midst of a jointly-funded pilot programme with the FAA, US Airways has placed Goodrich EFBs in 12 Airbus A319s and three Airbus A330s. These numbers will increase to 20 and 16, respectively, once the programme is fully implemented. The EFB is being used in the evaluation of NextGen, the term given to the redesign of the National Airspace System.

"The EFB is most useful during heightened periods of activity such as the departure and arrival phases of flight. It will eventually eliminate most paper-based materials, such as enroute and arrival charts, making for a more environmentally friendly flight deck as well as reducing aircraft weight," said US Airways.

A number of other operators are either studying or solidifying plans to bring iPad-based EFBs to their aircraft. Boeing's Jeppesen unit recently told Air Transport Intelligence that "over 100 airlines" have expressed interest in iPad-as-EFB implementation projects.