Paperless practices take to the skies

The ability to go paperless is sure to be a topic of conversation being held in boardrooms and around the water cooler of companies all over the country. While the office discussion makes plenty of sense on the ground, it has now taken off in the skies.

According to a recent Skift article, American Airlines has become the first U.S. airline to get approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to implement an iPad as a replacement for paper charts.

Traditionally, every aircraft is required to have a Kitbag which is filled with up to 25 pounds of paper documents that pilots use as a reference. It includes with flight manuals, approach plates, navigation charts, policy manuals, minimum equipment lists and taxi charts. For a fleet that has almost 900 planes in it, that is a lot of paper being wasted.

To get approval, AA needs to not only prove that the iPad could replace the operational side of the physical papers but also the rigors of flight – specifically that the device could handle rapid decompression and still be functional. They also had to arrange for a mount test to show how the tablets would look when locked in place.

"Despite AA's many troubles over the past year, it has become an early adopter among airlines from SXSW hackathons to paperless cockpits," Samantha Shankman, the author of the piece wrote. "This is a trend that can truly differentiate the new American."

While your typical organization does not need to worry about a decompression test when thinking about going paperless, it does show the extent to which some businesses will travel to get rid of the clutter of paper. Most companies can also partner with a document scanning and management service to start.


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