Aspen Avionics solidified its position as a major player in the general aviation avionics world with the acquisition on June 19 of GPS chip distributor Accord Technology, LLC. With the acquisition, Aspen becomes one of only a small number of GPS chip and card providers in the GA industry. Accord holds a worldwide exclusive license to sell the GPS sensors made by Accord India in the aviation market. Accord India’s NexNav GPS SBAS WAAS products include three key receivers, the NexNav Mini, NexNav Max, and the NexNav Micro.
The chip sets are used in many different aviation product lines, including FreeFlight, which was recently prominently displayed on the Accord Technology website. Aspen President and CEO John Uczekaj told AOPA the products will continue to be made available to partners and competitors alike, in keeping with the Aspen philosophy of having an open marketplace.
Asked whether the acquisition might lead to a reduced cost for certified WAAS chips necessary for the FAA’s mandatory Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Out (ADS-B Out) solution, Uczekaj said, “It’s too early to comment but we’re well aware of the issue of cost as related to ADS-B.” Aspen is among several companies that have brought lower-cost ADS-B solutions to the market in recent months as the Jan. 1, 2020, equipage mandate looms.
The CEO said the acquisition from Accord India and AvValues LLC was a combination of equity and cash. Accord Technology staff and resources based in Phoenix will be consolidated into a new Aspen office opening in that city. Aspen headquarters will remain in Albuquerque, according to Uczekaj. Accord will continue as a subsidiary of Aspen.
In addition to ADS-B growth, Uczekaj said the burgeoning unmanned aircraft systems market also holds great promise for the company and its GPS chips.