Qantas, Telstra and iPads are making it easier for Qantas pilots to access tens of thousands of pages of operational information electronically, while cutting 20kgs of weight from every Boeing 737 flight.
Starting with 737s and then, over time, jet-setting off into the rest of the fleet, the Qantas/Telstra iPad solution will ensure that what was once 18,000 pages of charts, flight plans, manuals and forms reduced to just 3,000 pages – with the rest of the info electronically available on Apple’s superlative tablet.
The flight deck is where the iPads will be used, with Qantas eventually expecting over 2,200 64GB iPads to be deployed “on all fleet types” – both domestically and internationally.
Qantas says the iPads, which should be introduced by September 2012 (subject to regulatory approval), will “be used to keep pilots up-to-date with critical flight data and each one will be equipped with two native apps that have been developed for cockpit use” one for charts by Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen and one by Qantas itself for all other necessary information.”
Each fleet type has an expected implementation time of “three to four weeks”, along with a transitional period where “certain paperwork is still carried on board, as pilots familiarise themselves with the new systems.”
Qantas Technical Pilot, Captain Alex Passerini, said “Qantas has always strived to lead the way in flight operations technology, be it our pioneering of the Future Air Navigation System in the 1990s or our work with on-board satellite navigation today.
“The revolutionary capabilities of iPad technology, combined with the powerful customized apps, give our pilots the ability to replace cumbersome hard copies – saving time, resources and costs.
“This initiative is a response to strong demand from our pilots for a simpler, more efficient system, and follows extensive testing and development work, including close consultation with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)”, concluded the good Captain.
Telstra’s Group MD of Enterprise and Government, Paul Geason, said that: “At Telstra we are constantly looking for new ways to harness technology for the benefit of our customers so we’re thrilled to be working with Qantas to deliver beneficial changes to both its pilots and its business.
“The iPad solution we're implementing together is the perfect example of how technology can not only simplify, but also improve both productivity and efficiency”, he concluded.
So, the next time you’re on a Boeing 737 from September this year, not only will you be flying high, but you’ll likely be flying i, too – iPad, that is.