Delta announced they are giving all of their 11,000 pilots a Microsoft Surface 2 tablet. The initial plan is to replace the pilots paper based flight kits where they keep their navigation charts and operations manuals. The first pilots to receive the Surface 2 will be those flying the 757 ad 767 jets, all other pilots should see them by the end of 2014. The Surface 2 will run Windows RT 8.1 and will have everything the pilots need to fly their aircraft, Delta claims this is saving the company $13 million a year in fuel and associated fuel costs.
“Delta’s electronic flight bag running on Surface 2 continues the technological strides Delta has been making to give our crews the best tools to keep them flying safely and efficiently,” said Capt. Steve Dickson, Delta’s senior vice president – Flight Operations. “This intuitive device puts key information at our pilots’ fingertips right when they need it. By eliminating paper, we’ll reduce clutter and minimize time spent looking for flight information, allowing our pilots the opportunity to develop greater situational awareness in the air and on the ground.”
Delta will also be using the FliteDeck Pro application on the Surface 2’s. “The interactive software gives flight crews quicker and more efficient access to key, real-time information and resources such as dynamic charts and navigation utilities that help them better manage the safe operation of their aircraft.”
“Delivering digital flight information through FliteDeck Pro on the Surface tablet platform will increase situational awareness and improve operational efficiency for Delta Air Lines,” said Tim Huegel, director, Jeppesen Aviation Portfolio Management. “This EFB integration program highlights a successful collaboration between Delta, Microsoft and Jeppesen and we congratulate Delta on the digital transformation of their flight deck operations.”
Good on Delta for not only finding ways to cut costs but for embracing technology to do it.