Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) is equipping its 11,000 pilots with the Microsoft Surface 2 tablet.
It will be used initially as an electronic flight bag to replace heavy paper-based flight kits containing navigational charts and aircraft operating and reference manuals.
Device rollout to pilots flying the Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 fleets will start later this year and all Delta cockpits are projected to be paperless by the end of 2014.
The Surface 2 will run on the Windows RT 8.1 platform and provide flight crews easy access to essential tools and the most up-to-date flight-related resources, including navigational charts, reference documents and checklists while saving the airline $13 million per year in fuel and associated 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.”
The move to a paperless cockpit follows Delta’s launch of handheld devices for its 19,000 flight attendants that runs on Windows Phone-based software.
Delta flight attendants began using the Nokia Lumia 820 in August and are able to access customer and flight information while using Dynamics for Retail technology for easy onboard customer purchases.