Qantas to put iPads in the cockpit?

By David Flynn, April 9 2011
Qantas to put iPads in the cockpit?

Qantas pilots are looking forward to swapping a bag full of bulky inflight manuals for a slim lightweight iPad if the Aussie flag-carrier goes ahead with plans to put Apple's tablet into the cockpit.

Qantas confirmed the plan after enquires from Australian Business Traveller, with a spokesman cautiously saying "Qantas' flight operations department is investigating ways of using iPad-like technology in the cockpit as part of its technology development program."

A Qantas pilot, speaking to Australian Business Traveller under condition of anonymity, said the airline has told its domestic and international pilots that they would each receive an iPad loaded up with all the manuals for each aircraft, standard and emergency procedures and other reference material.

However, the Qantas spokesman said that "no final decisions have been taken at this stage."

The documents would be supplied as ebooks which pilots could open, browse, search and bookmark on the iPad rather than poring through an assortments of ring-bound manuals.

Meanwhile, Qantas' low-cost sibling Jetstar is said to be in the final stages of rolling out the iPad as its in-flight entertainment system for domestic and international routes.

Jetstar will be using the first-generation iPad fitted with a custom case containing a second battery for over 20 hours between recharges, along with an RFID (radio frequency identification) chip to help prevent the iPad being stolen by light-fingered passengers.

For more on the Jetstar iPad plan, including screenshots of the dedicated Jetstar iPad app, see our full report here.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

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