How Do Surface Tablets Save Delta Airlines $1.2 Million Gallons of Fuel Per Year?

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Did you know that every pilot is required to carry a specific set of manuals, charts, and documents on every flight? These pilot flight bags weigh 38 pounds each. Delta Airlines is going green and putting these documents on Microsoft Surface 2 tablet devices. Already, 11,000 Delta pilots are using tablet devices.

The pilots are happy because they have less to carry. And Delta is happy because they will save 1.2 million gallons of fuel per year by eliminating all the extra weight carried on their 2,500 daily flights.  According to the Delta video below, this equates to a $4.2 million dollar annual savings.  According to Captain Jim Graham, VP Flying Operations and Chief Pilot for Delta Airlines, “That is about 2,300 cars that will not be driving because we’re using the Surface tablet now. That doesn’t even include the 900 trees saved a year for all the paper we’ve been using to print the manuals.”

In an interview at the Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2014 event Darrell Haskin, Director of IT for Delta Airlines said that the company has already introduced 8,000 Microsoft Surface devices and they are phasing out the “other devices” pilots may have already had on their own.  (Since this was a Microsoft event, those “other devices” were not named, but you can guess.)

We all know that people are very passionate about which tablet they prefer.  But many pilots are being won over to the Surface, primarily because of the split screen functionality. Pilots can look at their manual on one side of the screen and a chart of the weather on the other side simultaneously. Haskin commented that more than 1,500 pilots have already volunteered to switch from their current tablets to the Surface 2.

Don’t worry; these devices do not need Wi-Fi. The manuals and navigational charts are all downloaded. So there is no risk of the pilot being stuck without information if the Wi-Fi goes down.  Nobody wants to worry about the “internet is down” issue at 30,000 feet.

Like the pilots, the flight attendants are also required to have manuals with them for every flight. The hard copy only weighs 4lbs, but flight attendants will still appreciate that this will be available on their Nokia Smartphones, currently used by Delta as an in-flight POS devices connected to Microsoft Dynamics AX. Then the smartphone will be mandatory, a part of their uniform that is required for each flight.

With the help of Microsoft technology Delta intends to have “the finest electronic flight bag the industry has to offer.”

Watch the video:

by ERP Software Blog Editors,




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