In a quietly announced deal this week, Garmin International acquired AeroData, Inc. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, and to most of Garmin’s General Aviation customers, the implications may be missed.
AeroData, Inc. is the vendor that countless airlines, corporate and charter operators use to compute performance, load planning, and weight and balance solutions. AeroData’s products often account for much of the stack of paperwork you might see jet captains clutching as they head out to the airplane. They’re a critical service provider for air carriers—and when their network fails, it can disrupt the entire industry. A 40-minute hiccup on April 1, 2019, delayed nearly 1,000 flights. A press release announcing the deal claims that AeroData provides solutions to more than 70% of all North American airlines.
“AeroData provides aircraft performance data for more than 20,000 commercial flights each day, and we are excited to further expand this reach to commercial and business aviation customers worldwide within the Garmin aviation ecosystem,” said Terry McDonough, AeroData, Inc., president. “Garmin’s leadership position in flight deck and digital technologies make it an ideal fit for AeroData and our customers. We are excited to work with the entire Garmin team to continue innovating and serving the needs of our growing customer base around the world.”
Garmin’s acquisition of AeroData gives the company a firm toehold in the airline industry—a segment where they’ve had little, if any, market share. Industry giant Jeppesen dominates the airline business, with their Jepp FD Pro app being used by many airlines as their EFB solution. And just as Jeppesen/Boeing’s purchase of Foreflight has ushered in vast improvements to that company’s app, it’ll be worth tracking to see how the AeroData acquisition affects the Garmin product lineup—and how its presence in the airline and corporate aviation segments may grow. AeroData will continue offering their services as AeroData, Inc., under the new ownership.