Cebu Pacific Air, the country’s top low-cost carrier begins rolling out 5th generation iPads for its pilots as part of the big move towards paperless cockpit technology. The tablets will contain the pilots’ Electronic Flight Bags (EFB), an information management device that helps flight crews perform the necessary tasks to fly and navigate an aircraft.
“iPad EFBs will help us reduce our environmental footprint and manage our operational costs. Traditionally, flight manuals, charts, and other documentation used by pilots are all on paper — these paper documents weigh anywhere from 30 to 50 pounds. Going paperless will reduce our cumulative aircraft fuel burn, and consequently our carbon emissions,” shares Capt. Sam Avila, Cebu Pacific Vice President for Flight Operations.
According to the airline’s initial estimates, full implementation will save about 50,000 sheets of paper each year, and the reduced weight of hard copy manuals in the cockpit will translate to a reduction in Carbon (CO2) of 17 tons, and five tons in fuel consumption.
CEB starts this move with the pilots of the ATR fleet earlier in July. The ATR fleet is flown under CEB subsidiary Cebgo and is mainly used for inter-island routes across the country.
“CEB operates one of the world’s youngest fleet of ATR 72-600 aircraft, which is probably the most technologically advanced turboprop currently in commercial service. To complement the ATR, our investment in the iPad EFB aligns with our goal of operational excellence through the introduction of systems that enhance safety and efficiency in flight operations. With the EFB iPad, aircraft performance software and aeronautical charts are readily available, flight plans are constantly updated, and aircraft documentation and procedures are easily accessed; this is important when time-critical decisions need to be made and executed in the flight deck,” adds Capt. Avila.
The iPad EFBs display a variety of aviation data such as weather patterns, maps, and charts. It will also perform basic calculations like fuel consumption. The iPad EFBs are also enhanced with navigation and situational awareness capabilities to simplify preparation and in-flight procedures, which are critical during times of high congestion or poor visibility. Moreover, they will also come with a docking system that allows for seamless and fast syncing and downloading of data to multiple devices.
They will be rolling out iPad EFBs to pilots flying the Airbus fleet in the next weeks.