Telco service provider, Telstra, has inked a deal with Qantas to provide its pilots with iPads for use on the flight deck.
Beginning with Qantas’ Boeing 737 fleet, the pilots will be able to access a wide range of operational information via the iPads rather than bulky paper documents – including charts, flight plans, manuals and forms – that are currently used.
Ultimately, more than 2200 64GB iPads will be distributed to all domestic and international Qantas pilots on all fleet types.
According to the company, the introduction of iPads will see the decrease of page prints for flight operations from 18,000 pages to 3000 pages daily, decreasing the weight of the paper flight library carried on board by 20 kilograms.
“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),” Qantas technical pilot, captain Alex Passerini, said.
It aims to use the iPads to keep pilots up-to-date with critical flight data and all iPads will be equipped with two native apps developed for cockpit use – one for charts by Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen and one by Qantas itself for all other necessary information.
As par the agreement, Telstra will connect pilots using its NextG network, while international on-ground connectivity will draw on Telstra’s global Wi-Fi partner network.
Telstra enterprise and Government group managing director, Paul Geason, said companies that embrace the latest technology can reap productivity benefits and cost savings.
“We are constantly looking for new ways to harness technology for the benefit of our customers. 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 claimed.
Qantas will most likely be introducing the iPads for pilots by September subject to regulatory approval.