APEX in Profile: Ian Shergold

Image: Carlisle IT

Ian Shergold
Vice-President, Global Sales and Marketing
Carlisle Interconnect Technologies

Ian leads the sales and marketing department at CarlisleIT, where he is responsible for $800 million in global sales. Having previously served in general management positions in the industry, Ian has experience in acquiring, integrating and developing aerospace, connector and harness factories both in Europe and the US.

Fast Facts:
Location: SEA
Years in the industry: 20+
The future of flight will be: Connected
Degree: BSc, Material Management, Brunel University London

Installations for in-flight connectivity are really picking up. What does this mean for CarlisleIT?
This year has presented a challenge in balancing various market shifts: Primarily, there has been a notable decline in traditional seatback in-flight entertainment systems. In many cases, these have been offset with new opportunities for connectivity installations. Carlisle has been anticipating this market pickup by working on product development and certification in the background. Our satcom solution has been three years in the making, and we are now positioned to support it. It is already very exciting to watch our products leaving the shipping dock in growing numbers.

How is your FlightGear ARINC 791 satcom solution helping connectivity providers and airlines keep installations on track?
The product was designed for easy installation and manufacturing scalability, enabling our company and customers to meet increasing demand. Carlisle deliberately did not reinvent the wheel; we did not introduce exotic materials or processes into our design. There is an inherent benefit to this when it comes to supporting the rapidly growing market.

“The performance of cables and connectors needs to be perfect despite being shaken, shocked and routinely doused with coffee from passengers who don’t realize those parts are on the plane.” – Ian Shergold

Explain how connectors, cables and harnesses that are not in passenger view still play a role in their flight experience?
Passengers expect the systems to work perfectly every time. That performance needs to be there despite being frozen, baked, shaken, shocked and routinely doused with Coke, coffee and orange juice from passengers who don’t even realize those parts are on the plane, in and under their seats. Carlisle’s team put thousands of hours into making sure that experience happens by designing, testing and reliably building those parts to the high standards required.

Could a “disruption” affect your company?
Sure. There’s always the unknown lurking out there. Governments could ban wireless devices on airplanes. Jet fuel prices could quadruple. Passengers could decide they prefer trains. However, right now, we don’t see any of those as likely, and expect more passenger miles with Wi-Fi on board to be a continuing trend for at least five to 10 years, with another generation of connectivity solutions improving on the ones we’re installing today.

What change would you make to improve the airline industry right now?
Remind airlines they need to drive the industry with their spending. There has been a trend of airlines moving away from standards, organizations and interoperability expectations. That divestiture has allowed the large aerospace companies to move increasingly toward proprietary, incompatible and customized product offerings. This reduces choice, promotes consolidation among competitors and ultimately makes it more expensive to do just about everything an airline might want to do with its fleet.

“APEX in Profile: Ian Shergold” was originally published in the 7.5 December/January issue of APEX Experience magazine.