EBACE Convention News

EMS Aviation covers broad market

 - April 28, 2010, 6:57 AM

The three business units that comprise EMS Aviation, a newly formed subsidiary of U.S. conglomerate EMS Technologies, have wasted no time in pooling their resources to create a company with a diverse range of expertise in cabin communications. The EMS Satcom, EMS Formation and EMS Sky Connect brand names remain, but the three divisions are now pooling their talents to expand the capabilities of all three across each of the aviation markets they serve.

EMS Satcom is the leading builder of Inmarsat satellite communications equipment for aircraft. The company supplies stand-alone satcom systems and related gear to airlines, business jet operators and militaries as well as the satcom systems that are branded by Honeywell and Rockwell Collins.

The recent acquisitions by EMS Technologies of EMS Formation, a supplier of technology for the Aircell ground-to-air high-speed Internet service in the U.S., and EMS Sky Connect, a maker of Iridium satcom hardware, have expanded the reach of the aero division, necessitating the name change and business realignment.
“We are in a global connectivity explosion, one that will result in a world where everything and everyone will be connected,” said EMS Technologies president and CEO Neil Mackay. “With our realignment, we can now address all connectivity markets for virtually any aircraft, from helicopters and military airplanes to business jets and airliners.”

Mackay told AIN that the newly formed division is already exploring possibilities for joint products and will likely add additional companies to the EMS Aviation fold through strategic acquisitions. He said he is convinced that satellite commun- ications are only one part of the future connectivity mix for aviation. Inmarsat, Iridium, Ku- and Ka-band satellite networks will all be important in the future, he said. “So too will emerging connectivity technologies and even ones that don’t yet exist,” he predicted.

After completing the acquisitions last year of former stand-alone companies Formation and Sky Connect, EMS Technologies started consolidating overhead and administrative functions to reduce costs. The new units then began working with EMS Satcom on joint business opportunities, Mackay said, as they became familiar with one another’s people, products and capabilities. “The establishment of EMS Aviation is the culmination of this process,” he said.

Formation supplies connectivity hardware for the Aircell high-speed data service while Sky Connect is known best for its Iridium tracking units. With the consolidation of the business units, EMS Aviation’s capabilities include development of high-speed Inmarsat satcom systems including transceivers, antennas and networking equipment; Iridium transceiver systems for voice, tracking and data; cabin connection devices; and Ku-band broadband antennas for aircraft.

Most recently EMS Aviation announced that its eNfusion AMT-700 high-gain satcom antenna has received Inmarsat approval to support multi-channel Swift- Broadband, classic Aero H/H+ and Swift64 services, clearing the way for installations on customers’ airplanes. Here at EBACE, the company is exhibiting with Inmarsat (Booth No. 1539).

EMS Technologies has appointed Nim Evatt, formerly the general manager of EMS Formation, as EMS Aviation’s v-p and general manager. EMS Aviation’s senior management team will include leaders from all of the aviation business units. EMS Aviation employs about 500 people, most of them based in Ottawa, Canada, and Moorestown, New Jersey.

Evatt told AIN that while the EMS Aviation divisions are working together, the company  recognizes the value of each unit’s brand and area of expertise. “We have created a single company that comes under one umbrella, but also we want to be careful not to lose what makes each so special,” he said.