Fast Five With Honeywell - John Peterson

John Peterson, VP and General Manager, Software Services - Honeywell Connected Enterprise

John Peterson leads the software and services portfolio to create software solutions, cabin services and connectivity for aircraft and passengers.

Q. Why don't airlines provide free Wi-Fi?

A. Current satellite capacity remains a precious commodity. High-definition products consume so much of that capacity that for all passengers to have a quality experience, there has to be some usage limits. We have developed creative ways to manage that capacity, so passengers can stay connected in a responsible way. By 2024-2026, there will be an exponential change in terms of capacity but also in passenger expectations. Airlines and aircraft operators that get the connected aircraft right will enjoy a competitive advantage.

Q. Why is Honeywell an important technology player in aircraft connectivity?

A. When you talk to airliners or bizjet OEMs who want to make things more reliable, they turn to us because Honeywell is the natural fi t for delivering a packet of data and getting it routed properly. That is a very complex, sophisticated pathway and Honeywell knows all the links along that path—sensors, data buses, routers, satellite links, global ground network and analytical tools to generate alerts or provide guidance on fixing problems. We have done unprecedented work over the past three years to pull that pathway together.

Q. What is Honeywell Forge and how can it help airlines offer free in-flight Wi-Fi?

A. An airline has three key paths to be competitive and gain advantage—best ticket price, best on-time performance, best passenger experience, which includes connectivity. If there's a single thing that makes all three come together, that's data, data going through the aircraft network.

Honeywell designed the network in order to maximize the value it provides to operators. It provides better service to passengers and at the same time allows us to process important sensor data from the brakes, the APU and all the other aircraft subsystems. We aren't giving the airlines a terabyte of data on everything; we are giving them insight on the factors that drive their specifi c key performance indicators. The result is lower maintenance costs, reduced fuel consumption, fewer operational disruptions which all contribute to the passenger experience. That's all part of Honeywell Forge.

Q. What does Honeywell offer to secure Wi-Fi connectivity for crews and passengers?

A. We're an innovator in how to handle cyber security using active onboard threat detection on the aircraft. Our surveillance software ensures that people getting on the aircraft don't bring along a device that has a bug that could aff ect other passengers and certainly not the flying system. When a threat is detected, we notify the airline's IT department, so they can decide how to act upon it. From there, we off er them the ability to shut down services, block devices and further filter or shape traffic, so people are less likely to do malicious or predatory things.

Q. What do you believe 2020 will bring to the connected aircraft and the industry?

A. Ninety percent of our engineering hiring is in software. We are getting candidates who are finding how fun it is to be part of this as Honeywell shifts from a traditional industrial company to what you would only see in some of the most innovative software companies. We're going to bring forward a 500% to 700% reduction in cost to collect and offload data from aircraft.

With Honeywell Forge, all the connectivity pieces are designed to fit together and deliver real value to the aviation industry. We have met with dozens of airline customers and hundreds of aircraft operators in 2019. Through their input, we continue to develop our platform and overall vision. Our customers have already started initiatives for 2020 which rely heavily on our new software platform, our connectivity hardware, and our services. It'll be a very exciting year for all of us and certainly an experience that few could have predicted even 18 months ago!

Learn more about Honeywell's initiatives here.

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