PSA Airlines is putting electronic flight plans, weather updates, schedule changes and more right in its pilots’ hands with its Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) program. An EFB, which replaces more than 35 pounds of paper-based reference material and manuals that pilots often carried in their carry-on kitbag, offers numerous benefits for PSA and its pilots. The project is another example of how PSA airlines is looking to the future to incorporate new and exciting ways to bring technology to the forefront of the way they handle day-to-day business.
With EFBs, pilots can view detailed weather, route and airport information. Aircraft manuals and company documents can be easily accessed and searched in electronic format. Simple interfaces will ensure that all material on the device can easily be updated with the most current approved versions. All EFBs will have 4G LTE connectivity on the ground, and pilots can save information for easy access while in the air. This upgrade will put mainline pilots at American Airlines and its wholly owned regional pilots on a common software system.
PSA Director of Training Darren Hall said, “The implementation of the EFB program is a positive step forward for PSA and our pilot group. The requirement for tedious manual revision and lugging a heavy flight bag through the airport is a thing of the past for our flight crew. The company also benefits with electronic means to remain in regulatory compliance, reduced basic operating weight, and more efficient communications.”
Forty PSA pilots have already received fully-configured Apple iPad Air 2 tablets, as part of a test program. The feedback from these pilots will be used to validate the program and receive final FAA authorization later this year.
The move to EFBs is a cost-saving measure for PSA and its parent company, American Airlines. With the iPad replacing the weight of the manuals and luggage, the program helps save on fuel.