Austrian Airlines goes paperless, uses the Surface Pro 3 as its new flight bag

Fahad Al-Riyami

Austrian Airlines goes paperless -- Uses the Surface Pro 3 as its new flight bag

Microsoft’s Surface line of hybrid PC’s have been a success story in enterprises. It hasn’t just been marketing talk, the Surface is helping real companies save real money, and make real customers happier. That’s true for companies that operate Surface in classrooms, manufacturing plants, or in hollow tubes 30,000ft in the air.

Austrian Airlines is one such beneficiary that has opted to use Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 tablet-laptop hybrid in their day-to-day activities. Following the steps of Delta Airlines before it, the airline has chosen to go all digital and replace paper-based electronic flight bags in the cockpits of its fleet of almost 80 aircrafts. About 950 Surface Pro 3’s were purchased, each of them are the 128GB model with an Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB of RAM.

“The high performance, the large screen, and the – in comparison – very low weight make the tablet from Microsoft an ideal work instrument for the flight crew.” – Austrian Airlines

Austrian Airlines goes paperless -- Uses the Surface Pro 3 as its new flight bag

The company will be rolling out the tablets to its pilots with the aim of making sure that the “processes surrounding flight operations are more efficient, that time is saved, and that punctuality is improved”. Every aircraft will have a minimum of two Surface Pro 3 mounts built into the cockpits as per safety regulations.

“The electronic flight bag on the Microsoft tablet allows us to synchronize a wide range of the latest data, information, and flight-related documentation prior to the flight, meaning it is then available offline at any time during the flight. The immediate availability of manuals, charts or checklists consisting of several thousand pages widens the ability to take action in the air enormously” says Dr. Phillipp Haller, an Austrian Airlines Boeing 777 pilot.

Austrian Airlines goes paperless -- Uses the Surface Pro 3 as its new flight bag

Austrian Airlines plan to use the SP3 across all functions of flight operation, staring with the preparations of flight that include downloading the latest flight information and required documents such as flight plans, weather information, as well as positional, environmental, and system data. The tablets can also be used to display information during takeoff, cruise, landing, and in the event of turbulence.

With this project, Austria’s largest airline has taken flight operations to a new level of modernity and productivity.