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CAL pilots upgrade to iPad as electronic flight bags

Cayman Airways pilots are now using iPads as electronic flight bags (EFBs), replacing unwieldy and hard-to update paper manuals. Cayman’s national airline says it is the first in the Caribbean airline to use the Apple tablet for this purpose, following a growing practice by airlines in the US.

The Cayman Civil Aviation Authority approved the use of the iPad tablets on board on Friday, 31 August, and the CAL pilots began using them the following Monday. This followed a 6-month test period in which Cayman Airways flew thousands of hours with iPads to test and evaluate the product and necessary software. The airline said that all pilots have been trained on the use of EFBs and have embraced the iPads technology.

By using electronic charts and manuals, the safety and efficiency on the flight deck is significantly enhanced, CAL stated.

Captain Dave Scott, Vice President of Flight Operations for Cayman Airways, said, “We are excited to be leading the Caribbean with the use of iPads as the Electronic Flight Bag. This is a welcomed change that makes us more efficient and is the way forward in the airline industry.”

The Electronic Flight Bags will allow Cayman Airways’ pilots to discard the huge paper manuals they have traditionally had to carry around with them and update every 14 days. Now, they will be able to push a single button on the iPad and update their manuals automatically.

Not only will it save the pilots from having to carry around 30 pounds worth of paper but it could save the airline a significant amount of fuel each year, simply from the lack of the paper manuals weight.