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3 Big Connected Aircraft Trends to Watch for During NBAA 2019

3 Big Connected Aircraft Trends to Watch for During NBAA 2019

Like many of you, I’m packing my bags for Las Vegas to join 23,000 of my closest friends in the business aviation community at the 2019 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Convention & Exhibition. I look forward to meeting with Honeywell customers, partners and fellow aviation nerds and talking about my favorite topic – the connected aircraft.

New technologies, software advancements, advanced data analytics and the Internet of Things have driven enormous progress in our industry over the last decade and have changed the flying experience forever. But we’re not done yet. Innovators continue to develop new and better connectivity solutions to make flying safer, more efficient, more comfortable and more enjoyable.

Here are three emerging trends that will no doubt surface at NBAA 2019.

1.    Data Capacity will Challenge the Current Commercial Model

Connectivity is all about getting data on and off the aircraft. Data pipelines are getting wider and that’s a good thing. Speed, reliability and coverage are still paramount. But operators also want to reduce data costs without negatively impacting the passenger experience, especially when it comes to data-hungry applications like streaming video.

As a result, we think airtime service providers will explore new ways to package data that operators will find more appealing than the classic model of a monthly fee for a certain number of gigabytes and a “use it or lose it” approach. Look for other plan options like pay-as-you-go, buckets of data with an up-to speed limit, or declining per-gig prices based on total monthly usage.

Regardless of the airtime service plan, innovations like data filtering and data shaping, both offered as part of Honeywell’s cabin services portfolio, are highly effective ways to control bandwidth and maximize data usage, which will be transparent to your passengers.  

Finally, we see the market putting pressure on incumbents, including Honeywell. We need to continue to demonstrate that solutions like the Honeywell JetWave satellite communications system, paired with the Inmarsat JetConneX service, are far superior to competing options. Our solution provides business aviation operators with a comparable connected experience to their home or office, throughout their flight, and everywhere they fly, even on transoceanic journeys. 

2.    Software will Improve Performance & Reduce Costs

Connectivity relies on software and as the demand for greater connectivity and smarter tools continues to grow, we believe software will become even more essential to every phase of your business aviation enterprise. Better software reduces the need for standalone hardware, simplifies processes and reduces cost.

The business jet cabin will quickly evolve, just like your media room at home. Standard TVs and bulky playback systems will disappear, replaced by smart monitors and voice-activated interactive devices. You’ll stream videoconferences, the World Series or your favorite online movie on the big screen from your laptop or iPad, drawing signal from the aircraft’s satellite communications system – all while flying 40,000 feet over the Atlantic – thanks to a software stack built on Honeywell’s performance platform that features apps for in-flight media and network availability.

Meanwhile, software on the aircraft and in the operations center will soon break new ground when it comes to informing flight departments about aircraft status and controlling operations, using a “single pane of glass.” At NBAA, we will introduce an exciting new dashboard that improves operators’ ability to access information quickly and efficiently and share it across the enterprise. Users can view fleet-wide information or drill down to sort information by aircraft make, model or tail number.

3.    Connectivity will Extend Well Beyond the Cabin

There’s no denying that cabin connectivity will continue to be a major driver in business aviation. Business jet passengers expect to connect to the internet on the aircraft just like they do at home or in the office. That will not change.

But fast, reliable and available in-flight Wi-Fi only scratches the surface of connectivity’s full potential. We anticipate that flight departments will increasingly recognize the enormous benefits that connectivity brings to the table by enabling operators to integrated and share data within their own enterprise and beyond with tier-one vendors.

Avionics, engines and other sophisticated systems on business jets generate tons of data with every flight. With connected aircraft solutions, operators can now share health and usage information with their maintenance, repair and overhaul providers to identify potential problems early and enable predictive and prescriptive maintenance.

In addition, Operators flying our Primus Epic integrated flight deck can update their navigation databases wirelessly using an iPad app and they can download, decode and analyze fault data using Honeywell’s Maintenance Advisor application.

There are thousands more examples of how operators can use connectivity to gather data from across the enterprise. The secret lies in the ability to use advanced data analytics to separate the nuggets of data with true value from the chaff. For that, you need our help.

Business aviation operators are constantly looking for ways to improve performance, deliver a better passenger experience and reduce costs. Honeywell has unique connected aircraft expertise and the right portfolio of hardware, software and service applications to help you achieve your operational objectives. Let us help!

If you’re attending this year’s NBAA show, we’d love to show you everything we have to offer. You’ll find us at Booth N4302 in the North Hall. 

John Peterson
Vice President and General Manager Software and Services
John Peterson is Vice President and General Manager of Aerospace Services and Connectivity for the Honeywell Connected Enterprise.


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