Naverus, a Company That Makes Flight Paths Greener, Gets Acquired by GE

11/23/09Follow @gthuang

Kent, WA-based Naverus, which develops navigation technologies for airplanes, has been acquired by GE Aviation, a Cincinnati-based division of General Electric. Financial terms weren’t disclosed today in GE’s official announcement of the deal.

Naverus was founded in 2003 and focuses on “required navigation performance,” a technique that uses advanced avionics and GPS technology to guide airplanes on approach and departure, making their flight paths faster and greener (more fuel-efficient). It’s part of a broader shift in aviation practices called Performance-based Navigation, which uses sensors, communications equipment, and flight computers to precisely work out flight paths and make more efficient use of airspace and resources.

I profiled Naverus back in April, after the company raised $4 million in venture financing from Foundation Capital and East Peak Partners. And two months ago, Naverus said it received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to design and test its flight paths for public use in the U.S. Its customers include manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus, as well as commercial airlines like Southwest and several airlines in China, Australia, and Canada.

“This is great news for Naverus and our customers,” said Naverus CEO Steve Forte, in a statement. “Customers will continue to benefit from the same expertise and service for which Naverus is known, while the strength of GE provides a platform for future innovation and growth.”

I talked with a Naverus spokesman about the deal. He sounded excited, but said all media communications are being handled by GE at this time. It sounds to me like Naverus, which has about 60 employees, will remain in Kent, at least through the integration process.

The acquisition “brings some of the best [Performance-based Navigation] technology to GE Aviation’s Systems business, further expanding our commitment to deliver environmental results for our customers,” said GE Aviation’s president and CEO Lorraine Bolsinger, in a statement.

GE Aviation is an operating unit of General Electric (NYSE: GE). It makes jet engines and other technologies and components for commercial and military aircraft.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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