Each year, APEX identifies an individual who embodies the association’s values of transforming the in-flight experience and pushing the industry forward. This year’s recipient, Brinder Bhatia, is no exception. His impressive career of over 40 years, most recently with Panasonic Avionics (formerly known as Matsushita Avionics Systems), helped build the organization into the powerhouse it is known as today. Working his way through the ranks, Bhatia served as Panasonic Avionics’ executive vice-president, executive counselor and corporate advisor to the CEO, where he demonstrated the ability to bring various cultures and ideals together, revolutionizing the in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) industry for years to come.
Beginning in the late 1970s, Bhatia helped implement systems such as Hughes’ early 12-channel audio systems on McDonnell Douglas DC-10s and Boeing 747s. Later, he led teams in the development of ACESS and Apax 140 cabin communications systems, and the introduction of Panasonic’s interactivity, AVOD and now connected aircraft. Bhatia later leveraged these experiences and learnings when leading a multinational team of engineers in creating truly unique antenna technologies that, once completed, were deployed globally.
His drive and determination remain unmatched among his peers, young and old. Regardless of the project, Bhatia’s focus is geared toward airlines and their passenger experience.
Throughout Bhatia’s career, he worked tirelessly to balance the sometimes-competing needs of airlines and aircraft OEMs. He pushed the industry toward building both custom and customizable systems that made IFEC central to the passenger experience for virtually every airline. Not content with only finding new solutions for passenger interactivity, Bhatia led his team in engineering and introducing on-demand entertainment; giving passengers the freedom to choose how and when to watch what they want. These efforts lead to the creation and deployment of Panasonic’s S2000e VOD1/1.5 delivering VOD to first- and business-class cabins. Subsequently, he, once again, pushed the industry to provide these technologies to all classes and on large, long-range aircraft through the creation of S3000 and 3000i systems with AVOD.
Even in retirement, Bhatia continued to dedicate his life to IFEC. His drive and determination remain unmatched among his peers, young and old. Regardless of the project, Bhatia’s focus is geared toward airlines and their passenger experience. For this, APEX is proud to honor Brinder Bhatia as the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and a lifetime honorary member of APEX.