Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO) stock rose over 1% on October 12th, 2018 (as of 10:34 AM GMT-4; Source: Google finance). The company announced that it has joined the Seamless Air Alliance as an “Adopter Member.” The Seamless Air Alliance is a consortium of companies dedicated to the development and promotion of aircraft connectivity standards to facilitate a simple, delightful experience for passengers. The goal of the organization is to create standards that ensure continuous connectivity from gate-to-gate anywhere in the world with the additional potential benefit of reducing the hurdles associated with the acquisition, installation and operation of inflight connectivity systems.
Meanwhile, ATRO wholly owned subsidiary Astronics Test Systems, has entered into a formal letter of intent (“LOI”) to provide a test system program for a customer in the transportation industry. The LOI provides for an anticipated program value of approximately $30 million with additional options for up to a total value of approximately $50 million over the next five years. Astronics expects to finalize the remaining terms of the contract and receive a formal contract award within 60 days. In the meantime, systems design and development will begin.
Further, ATRO’s wholly owned subsidiary, Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems (AES), is providing its new wireless charging module (WCM) for integration into several suppliers’ seat models. The first integrations are scheduled to roll out on aircraft in early 2019. stronics AES’ new wireless charging module, introduced last April at the Aircraft Interiors Expo, has rapidly gained widespread recognition as a new, highly desirable option for charging passengers’ electronic devices (PEDs). Airlines are anticipating the passenger demand for wireless charging and in response, seat manufacturers are integrating this unit into their seats and furniture to provide quick charging of Qi-enabled wireless devices such as mobile phones and tablets. EmPower in-seat power is already the industry’s most adopted PED charging option with more than 240 airlines providing EmPower systems. The new wireless charging module represents an easy way to provide the convenience of wireless charging while creating a superior passenger experience, maintenance, and support model for WCM installations. The 15 watt charger is Qi (“chee”) certified and is compatible with the most popular mobile devices offered from Apple®, Samsung and others that are Qi-enabled. Astronics AES is also working with additional seat suppliers to outfit wireless charging programs that will occur later in 2019 and beyond.