ipad_2United Airlines on Tuesday announced it has purchased 11,000 Apple iPads to and will be giving one to all United and Continental pilots.

The airline wants to replace massive paper flight manuals in the cockpit with a more versatile digital solution. The first iPads started being deployed this month, and all pilots will be using iPads by the end of the year.

“The paperless flight deck represents the next generation of flying,” said Captain Fred Abbott, United’s senior vice president of flight operations, in a statement. “The introduction of iPads ensures our pilots have essential and real-time information at their fingertips at all times throughout the flight.”

Not only will the iPad make it easier to reference flight information, but also the company says the new tools will save 16 million sheets of paper and 326,000 gallons of jet fuel per year. The company writes:

Each iPad, which weighs less than 1.5 pounds, will replace approximately 38 pounds of paper operating manuals, navigation charts, reference handbooks, flight checklists, logbooks and weather information in a pilot’s flight bag. A conventional flight bag full of paper materials contains an average of 12,000 sheets of paper per pilot. The green benefits of moving to EFBs are two-fold–it significantly reduces paper use and printing, and, in turn, reduces fuel consumption.

United isn’t the first airline to bring tablets onto its airplanes. In June, American Airlines bought 6,000 Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 devices to offer as amenities in premium-level cabins of some transcontinental and international flights.

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