Research, Technology & Innovation
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Shades on Planes
CEO MARIO CESTE
Company AEROSPACE TECHNOLOGIES GROUP
If you’ve flown in a large cabin business jet or premium class on an international, long-haul flight, you probably have encountered the high-end window shades made by Aerospace Technologies Group, which has installed about 100,000 worldwide.
Based at The Research Park at FAU, the company for years has been financially backed by Jackie Autry, widow of singing cowboy film star Gene Autry. Aerospace Technologies, in non-pandemic times, hires interns from FAU. It’s had several engineers who are FAU grads.
In the three pre-COVID years, company revenue grew at a 10% compound annual growth rate.
Mario Ceste, formerly the company’s outside general counsel and CEO since 2017, says the company has lots of room for growth. Aerospace Technologies has a high share of the market for premium class windows on long-haul international flights but a tiny share of all commercial carrier windows, most of which have the familiar sliding piece of plastic for a shade. The company also may move into making other cabin components. Ahead: Connectivity, allowing passengers to use their phones or devices to manage the shade.