LONDON, England – The UK’s largest airline easyJet is to replace printed navigational charts and use electronic tablets as it aims to operate completely paperless planes.
Panasonic Toughpads will be used in the cockpits of its entire fleet of 220 Airbus aircraft by the end of the month as it also looks to eradicate the need for all printed forms in the cabin.
The company is to use the latest ‘e-paper’ technology to cut down on waste and increase resource efficiency.
Each aircraft currently carries about 25kg of paper, which includes forms, checklists and detailed manuals. By replacing paper completely, the airline can also cut costs by reducing fuel burn, production and subsequent distribution to easyJet’s 24 bases.
The switch is expected to save around half a million dollars in fuel costs alone. It will also reduce the cost of printing and distributing the paper versions of the manuals and forms.
Captain Brian Tyrrell, Head of Flight Operations for easyJet said: “We will this month complete the first phase in its journey toward a paperless aircraft by fitting all of its existing fleet with Toughpads.
“Eradicating paper, including the cumbersome manuals with thousands of pages on-board, by providing access to the same information via these devices is an important step in reducing weight but it also means we can improve the speed and efficiency of our communications by remotely saving information and providing crew with up to date information.”
easyJet says it has always scrutinised all aspects of its operation to ensure it runs in the most efficient way.
Last year the airline introduced a raft of measures to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. Its pilots now implement measures such as one engine taxiing, delayed engine starts, continuous descent approach and minimising use of the Auxiliary Power Unit when on the ground.
Engineers also delivered savings through lighter passenger seats, lighter cabin trolleys and by washing the engines’ compressor regularly. Aerodynamic improvements have also been achieved by installing sharklets, an enlarged wing tip which makes the wing more efficient.
easyJet’s annual fuel bill is around £1.2bn and the airline says because of its simple, efficient operation, its passenger’s carbon footprint is already 22% less than a passenger on a traditional airline flying on the same route and aircraft.