When Frontier Airlines announced that it had begun an FAA-approved program to evaluate Apple iPads as electronic flight bags in its cockpits, the news marked a new frontier for a maker of intelligent apps for general aviation pilots.
As part of its EFB program, Denver, Colo.-based Frontier said it has entered a partnership with ForeFlight, of Houston, Texas, “to provide pilots with supplemental weather information and Notices to Airmen through ForeFlight’s mobile application.”
For ForeFlight, the announcement marked the first pact with a Part 121 carrier for use of its products, extending the company’s product reach to all aspects of aviation, including military use, a company spokesman told AOPA.
The arrangement with the carrier was a year in the making, ForeFlight said in posting news of the agreement on its website.
Permanent use of the electronic flight bags by Frontier Airlines would follow a successful six-month evaluation.
Any GA pilot who has ever planned and re-planned a flight to make an aircraft’s payload pay off appreciates it when 30 pounds of useful load can be made available for passengers, fuel, or baggage.
Air carriers savor the same opportunity because it reduces economic drag.
“Removing traditional 30-pound flight bags, as well as other aircraft manuals, from each Frontier Airlines aircraft will save hundreds of thousands of dollars in fuel costs annually,” the airline said. “In addition to fuel savings through weight reduction, use of the iPads will reduce paper and printing expenses.”
Frontier noted that the improved access to supplemental information apps would enhance safety. Its pilots will use Jeppesen’s FliteDeck Pro application in all phases of flight.
Jeppesen noted that delivering digital information through electronic flight bags is “revolutionizing the aviation industry.”
ForeFlight said use of its products is also growing in the government sector, including the U.S. Coast Guard, Drug Enforcement Agency, NASA, Customs and Border Protection, and numerous state and federal aviation departments