As part of its ongoing efforts to minimise its environmental impact and adapting the latest technologies, Delta announced in September 2013 that it would be equipping 11,000 pilots with electronic tablets. The devices will act as an electronic flight bag, containing vital information such as navigational charts as well as aircraft operating and reference manuals.
The new tablets will replace the 38-pound paper flight bags traditionally carried by pilots; they will allow greater situational awareness by reducing the amount of time spent perusing through documents, allow real-time access to important information such as dynamic charts and navigational tools, as well as reducing the weight carried aboard aircraft by replacing the traditional flight bag.
In the next few years Delta will be expanding its electronic flight bag functionalities to provide pilots with real-time weather forecasts, operational information and allow dynamic communication with aircraft.
Delta has already begun rolling out the scheme and estimates that its entire fleet will be paperless by the end of the year. The full roll-out is predicted to save 1.2 million gallons of fuel a year which amounts to a carbon reduction of 26 million pounds, the equivalent of removing 2,300 cars from the road.
The switch will also save Delta 7.5 million sheets of paper annually, saving 900 trees every year.