FAA Clears Surface 2 Tablets For Takeoff In Commercial Airline Pilot Electronic Flight Bags

Microsoft's Surface 2 tablet just received FAA Authorization to be included in flight bags used by pilots in commercial aviation. In recent months, the airline industry has actually embraced newer technologies in a big way, paving the way for handheld use during taxi, takeoff, and landing. Plus, Apple's iPad has found a home in select flight bags as well, cutting out weight and modernizing the pilot playbook. Microsoft's no stranger to the airline world, as it recently partnered with Delta in order to install Windows Phone devices on Delta flights to handle food purchases and the like.

This week, Microsoft is expanding that reach yet again with FAA approval to stick the Surface into Electronic Flight Bags (EFB). The goal is to "go paperless in the cockpit," and Delta is enabling pilots to use the Surface 2 right away. Specifically, the company stated: "Surface 2 tablets have achieved Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorization for Class 1 or 2 EFB needs for all phases of flight."

Individual airlines still have to do a bit of legwork on their own before the tablets can be used, but Microsoft has cleared a major hurdle already in helping this partners make it happen. Now, if only we could get a halfway roofy coach seat, we'd really feel like we were flying in the future...