American Airlines today received approval for its pilots to use iPads as electronic flight bags during all phases of flight from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Pilots at the Fort Worth-based Oneworld carrier will begin using iPads on its Boeing 777-200 fleet this month, with rollout on the airline's other aircraft types expected by the end of the year pending FAA approval, it says.

"With this approval from the FAA, we will be able to use iPad to fully realise the benefits of our electronic flight bag programme, including improving the work environment for our pilots, reducing our dependency on paper products and increasing fuel efficiency on our planes," says captain John Hale, vice-president of flight at American.

American is the first US carrier to receive approval to replace paper manuals and materials with iPads from the FAA.

The shift to iPads will result in up $1.2 billion in annual fuel savings per aircraft, according to the airline.

The iPads use mobile software by Jeppesen, a Boeing company.

American began testing the use of iPads as electronic flight bags in June 2011.