Garmin has reached the one million mark for delivery of certified avionics, a milestone achieved in less than three decades since the Olathe, Kansas manufacturer was founded, the company announced today. The one-millionth product was a GTX 3000 DO-260B compliant mode-S Extended Squitter (ES) transponder that enables ADS-B Out transmissions.
“Since our inception over 28 years ago, Garmin has been committed to providing superior products that are known for their innovation, reliability and intuitive design,” said Phil Straub, Garmin executive v-p, managing director of aviation. “This milestone is a testament to our long-established commitment to making significant investments in research and development, as well as the hard work and dedication of thousands of passionate Garmin team members.”
Founded as ProNav by Gary Burrell and Min Kao in 1989 in Lenexa, Kansas (the blend of their first names gives Garmin its current brand), the company has grown to encompass five business segments and employ more than 11,000 worldwide. Beginning with the GPS 100 AVD navigator, Garmin now provides aviation products for general aviation, business aviation, helicopter, experimental, defense and air transport segments. The company has brought safety-enhancing features such as synthetic vision and Electronic Stability Protection (ESP) as well as advanced technologies such as touch screens to light aircraft. It has expanded further into the Part 25 market, including as the supplier of the G5000 flight deck for Cessna’s new Citation Longitude.
“The breadth and depth of our certified aviation product line has expanded greatly over the years, allowing us to develop new markets for Garmin,” added Carl Wolf, vice president of aviation marketing and sales. “This incredible milestone doesn’t even include the hundreds of thousands of portable and other non-certified products that our customers use every day.”
The GPS 100 AVD, designed for visual flight, paved the way for future GPS products. In 1994 Garmin’s GPS 155 became the company’s first navigator to be certified for non-precision instrument approaches. Following up on that, Garmin in 1998 rolled out its first integrated GPS, COM, VOR, LOC and glideslope product, the GNS 430. More than 125,000 GNS navigators are now installed in aircraft.
Garmin unveiled the G1000 integrated flight deck in 2003 and became the supplier for Cessna’s Mustang very light jet. The G1000 has served as a platform for a number of Garmin’s safety advancements, such as SVT synthetic vision, automatic flight control integration, Class A/B and helicopter terrain awareness and warning system, WAAS, geo-referenced charts and ESP.
Later, Garmin expanded its flight deck platforms to include the G2000, G3000 and G5000, along with the G1000H and G5000H. More than 16,500 Garmin flight decks are now in service aboard 70 different models of aircraft. Just this year, Garmin unveiled the G1000 successor, the G1000 NXi.
Garmin brought the first certified touchscreen avionics products for general aviation aircraft in 2011 with the GTN 650 and GTN 750, the successors of the GNS 430W/530W. The company also has played an integral role in developing ADS-B products for numerous aircraft.
Efforts continue for future growth, including the recent completion of a $14 million, 66,000-sq-ft expansion of the Garmin AT Salem, Oregon facility. Also, the company is in the midst of a $200 million expansion in Olathe that involves a 720,000-sq-ft manufacturing and distribution center. That facility is scheduled for opening in late 2020.