Delta cockpits go paperless with Microsoft Surface 2 tablets
By Capt. Steve Dickson, senior vice president, Delta Flight Operations
At Delta, our 80,000 colleagues are committed to making the travel experience better for our more than 160 million annual customers. To do that, our employees need to be equipped with the latest tools and utilities to support them in their jobs. So today we’re announcing that Delta will equip our more than 11,000 pilots with state-of-the-art Microsoft Surface 2 tablets running Windows RT 8.1, initially for use as electronic flight bags in the cockpit.
These intuitive handheld devices add to an already impressive lineup of technology in our cockpits. As the tablets and associated software are developed, they will give our talented group of pilots quick and up-to-the-minute access to navigational charts, reference materials, checklists, operational documentation and weather—all in an effort to make the flying experience better for everyone on board. They also reduce a substantial amount of weight as the less-than 1.5 pound tablet replaces at least two, 38-pound flight bags containing paper-based flight manuals. Removing these kits means our aircraft fly greener. In fact, eliminating this weight across our fleet of more than 700 mainline aircraft will lead to 1.2 million fewer gallons of fuel burned each year and result in a 26 million pound reduction in annual emissions—that’s the same as taking 2,300 cars off the road. We’ll also eliminate 7.5 million sheets of paper used annually and save some 900 trees every year.
We expect to roll out the new Surface 2 tablet devices in the coming months, starting with our Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 flight crews and all of our cockpits to be completely paperless by the end of 2014.
We’re taking major steps to modernize and revolutionize the flying experience both in the cockpit and throughout the cabin. In the coming years, Delta will work together with Microsoft to provide end-to-end technology innovations for our pilots to better communicate and coordinate with their 80,000 colleagues while offering our customers a smoother, better ride at 30,000 feet.
Thanks for flying Delta and I hope to have you on a flight soon.