Delta airlines has been working toward equipping its pilots with Microsoft‘s Surface 2 tablets for some time, and now the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has officially authorized the device for Class 1 and 2 EFB (Electronic Flight Bag) needs for all phases of flight.
This means Delta will be able to distribute Surface 2 units to all of its pilots for use in the cockpit, replacing more traditional paper manuals airlines require its pilots to carry with them. Delta expects to save $13 million a year in fuel by not transporting the current paper-flight bags, which can weigh up to 40 pounds.
EFBs are ebook readers with nearly all other functions of the device disabled. Theyl replace those bulky paper manuals, streamlining in-flight operations without compromising safety.
Similar device authorizations have been made previously, as the FAA approved the Apple iPad for use in all phases of flight in 2011, and American Airlines began distributing 1,000s of Apple tablets to be used as EFBs to its pilots.
And passengers aren’t being left out; the FAA recently approved the use of tablets gate-to-gate, including being connected to WiFi the whole way.