APEX in Profile: Haynes G. Griffin

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Haynes G. Griffin
Chairman and CEO
SmartSky Networks

Haynes is a former CEO of Vanguard Cellular Systems, which he took public in 1988 and sold to AT&T in 1999, and has also served as chairman of CTIA. As founding CEO of SmartSky Networks, Haynes will help bring affordable, bidirectional broadband connectivity to the aviation industry with the completion of its nationwide network later this year.

Favorite Airport: Kahului Airport (OGG)
Brand of Suitcase: Tumi
Seatback or PED? PED
The future of flight will be: Connected

If you weren’t doing your current job, what would you love to be doing?
Another job like my current one: long hours and hard work toward an exciting outcome that has the potential to not only be economically successful, but also make a meaningful and important impact.

What does your typical workday look like?
It starts early and goes late – which is how I like it. Working hard on a satisfying project is fun.

“We are bringing broadband Internet in a way that will enable benefits and efficiencies.”

Every job has a cool factor. What’s yours?
For the first time, we are bringing broadband Internet in a way that will allow the aviation industry to take advantage of the tools, benefits and efficiencies that terrestrial businesses have had access to for years. Some of our applications will become indispensable to both business and commercial aviation because of the operational efficiencies and corresponding money savings that will result.

Best advice you’ve ever received?
“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein

How can the airline industry become more efficient?
By combining vast amounts of data on things like weather and air traffic location information in conjunction with each airplane’s three-dimensional location in real time, our Flight Path Optimization application has the potential to save between seven and 12 percent of fuel. But this application can only work if you have affordable, high-bandwidth, low-latency, bidirectional connectivity. This is what SmartSky will be uniquely providing.

Do you have any crazy ideas to improve the passenger experience?
How would it affect the passenger experience if one could provide a broadband experience in the air that mirrors what passengers are used to in their offices or homes? Once passengers find that this capability is available, they will make purchase decisions based on this service offering.

What’s the one item you can’t travel without?
My smartphone.

“APEX in Profile: Haynes G. Griffin” was originally published in the 7.2 April/May issue of APEX Experience magazine.