The Federal Aviation Administration has saved money and increased efficiency since it began issuing iPads and Android devices to employees a year ago, an agency official said.
FAA’s legal department, for example, uses iPads during cases it prosecutes to show radar images of air traffic conditions at the time of a contested incident. Such evidence often leads to defendants ending cases earlier, said Robert Corcoran, manager for architecture and applied technology at FAA.
The legal department estimates that FAA saves about $100,000 per case when cases end early, Corcoran said Tuesday at the FOSE conference inWashington.
FAA has issued 1,100 tablet devices to employees as part of an ongoing pilot program. The long-term goal is to give the employees the option of mobile devices when they trade in their old technology, Corcoran said.
The Defense, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security departments are among other agencies that offer mobile devices toselect employees.
“We are trying to afford choices to the DoD,” said deputy chief information officer Robert Carey during another FOSE panel. But “the ‘I wants’ have to be offset by the ‘I needs’.”
Corcoran said FAA provided tablet devices and Internet connections to employees who could show a credible need for the devices. Employees have come up with 72 different use cases for the devices.
Within the next three months, FAA plans to study whether iPads can enhance air traffic controller training, Corcoran said.
Trainees will use iPads to access training materials, he said. Results from the study will be compared with training classes that don’t use iPads.