Embracing Aerospace Acronyms

October 15, 2015 | Author: Lindsay Norman

Ever since I was a young child I have appreciated good communication. I would often ask my parents what certain words meant and sarcasm was an anomaly to me until I was old enough to embrace it. As the eldest of three, I was exposed early in life to adults and their complex conversations about life. I was immediately fascinated and wanted to be a part of the dialogue. Fast forward to my young adult years when choosing my field of study, it was a no-brainer that I had to choose something in the world of communication. After a series of academic experiments, journalism eventually found its way into my existence. I also discovered that I prefer to work for causes in which I have little to no experience. With tenure in both healthcare and state government, I am in awe of what the human mind can achieve when motivated. So it was no surprise that I found an interest and ultimately a position with Honeywell, arguably one of the most influential aerospace companies in the world. And I yet have no background in this field—perfect!

Just like any new endeavor, the emotions a new employee might initially feel when starting a career at Honeywell is a mixture of awkward, nervous, excited, enthusiastic and hopeful.  I personally love meeting new people and always begin any new position with learning all the names, titles and attempting to connect the dots with a series of association tricks: e.g. Dan has Dalmatians. I have to remind myself that there is one of me and countless numbers of them, and eventually we will all assimilate and become a collective team working toward a common goal.

An important part of being on a team is sharing the language. I believe it is a form of bonding and communication that is critical for success. I was warned early on that this would be the case and not to hesitate when confused by the amount of acronyms and abbreviations. I welcomed the challenge. I do have a secret weapon however. Honeywell was kind enough to provide an acronym dictionary online to newcomers such as myself, and while not all acronyms are listed there, I can get through each day with some level of stealth.  You can even add your own acronym, what a concept!

As I pondered the new acronyms I was in awe of what they stood for. For example, HAPP which stands for the Honeywell avionics protection program, and is a maintenance services program that covers an aircraft’s avionics beyond the basic warranty period. Much like a car, systems will age and unexpected repairs are often costly and stressful. So the program is designed to address those possibilities and create peace of mind for customers. Who knew such am optimistic sounding acronym could be so comprehensive?
Another eye-opening moment arrived when I learned about the GDC, or Global Data Center . This is essentially a 24/7 support center for pilots. Customers enrolled in the program can subscribe and receive real-time weather information, flight planning, flight support, satellite communication and a variety of other features before, during and after a flight. The service is unmatched in its field and will be celebrating its 30th year anniversary in April, 2016. 

Weather information service (WIS) was another impressive service that I learned about early on. This program quite possibly helps pilots avoid major catastrophic events. With weather-related flight accidents making the news regularly, passengers and flight crews can both see obvious importance in the availability of up-to-date weather information. From the morning commute to a transatlantic flight, we can all appreciate the immense value and added safety in this type of data. The cutting edge technology that powers WIS is software not hardware, and can be easily accessed via an iPad or Windows program through a tool called the electronic flight bag (EFB).   

While the amount of innovation from Honeywell continues to amaze, it is no wonder the acronyms that represent the myriad products and services can seem daunting. However, after attending more training and becoming immersed in the Honeywell culture, it has become apparent the majority prefer plain English over abbreviations. It was after I dug deeper that I understood the true meaning behind the terms and was fascinated by what I uncovered.

Lindsay Norman

Lindsay Takemoto

Lindsay Takemoto is a Senior Specialist in the Marcom division of Honeywell Aerospace. She joined Honeywell in August of 2015 and has a background in communications, digital marketing and social media. Previous roles include destination marketing and healthcare communications. She studied at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University.

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