In 1986, the cost of a first-class U.S. stamp was 22 cents, Argentina won the soccer World Cup, the Grammy “song of the year” was “We are the World,” and Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager made the first nonstop flight around the world.
Not incidentally, Honeywell’s GoDirect Flight Services (formerly the Global Data Center) made its official debut. While the beginnings were humble, the service has grown over the decades and now offers comprehensive, around-the-clock, worldwide aircraft communications and flight support services to business aircraft owners and operators.
Karen Zamora, a lead in the Customer Support division, joined the group in 1984 when it was first starting out. “We had many aircraft in trials beginning in 1984, but our first customer in May 1986 was Berwind Aviation, who remains our customer today.”
Flight Services first made its mark providing VHF and satellite datalink communications. Two-way data communications systems provided connections to communications networks worldwide and Honeywell team members could relay messages anywhere in our connected world.
Nowadays, using specific aircraft performance data, the latest weather information, and sophisticated routing software we are able to calculate the best available routes, and global flight planning services are reducing workload for pilots and dispatchers.
The industry-leading Flight Sentinel service provided today saves time and money by providing hands on dispatch services and reducing flight delays for business aircraft operators in ways that were only imagined in 1986. Using state-of-the-art techniques such as the collaborative decision making (CDM) tools and the latest route-management software, Honeywell flight control specialists optimize routes to avoid traffic congestion and weather delays.
The future of the Flight Services is one of continuous improvement and enhanced capabilities using the latest satellite communications services for cabin and cockpit. New apps and services like the newly launched GoDirect Flight Preview app, cabin connectivity services, and fuel savings with Aviaso and GoFuel are all on the horizon to impact the aviation industry.
The Weather Information Service app utilizes datalink capabilities that assists the flight crew in making strategic, in-flight decisions by providing the most up-to-date weather information available for planned routes -- all displayed on an intuitive map on an EFB devices.
New markets are also being explored beyond business aviation including both air transport and entry-level general aviation.
Most recently, it was announced that the center would be moving from its home in Redmond to Honeywell’s Phoenix Sky Harbor facility which brings all the avionics and engines collaborators physically closer together.
So, while Flight Services may not be physically lighting 30 candles this year, the light continues to shine brightly as they help guide flight crews to their destinations.