Our History

Pioneering the concept.

Our company was founded in 1959 by former United States Air Force meteorologist and network weatherman Tom Evans, who had a vision to provide a service no one else in the world ever had before – customized weather forecasting for business aviation.

That initial vision would continue to grow over the following half century. As business aviation expanded, Universal evolved, adding new services and solutions to meet the changing needs of a growing industry that relied on business aviation aircraft, regardless of location or length of trip.

Tom had an absolute commitment to the success of his clients’ missions, which today is embedded in our DNA and continues to be the foundation of everything we do.

Explore some of our history.

1959 – Tom Evans opens a weather station at Love Field in Dallas, TX, USA under the name Southwest Flight Forecast and Industrial Weather Service, Inc.

1960s – Southwest Flight Forecast and Industrial Weather Service, Inc. changes its name to Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc. The company expands with additional locations, including an office at Hobby Field (now Hobby Airport) in Houston, TX, USA. By the end of the 1960s, Universal was providing more than just weather to its clients, offering flight planning and basic trip coordination support. In addition, the iconic plane and radar logo is introduced, which remains the inspiration behind the Universal® logo today.

1970s – As operating business aircraft internationally becomes more common, so does the need to establish a global network of key contacts and ground support providers. Universal begins laying the foundation of what is now its Global Community of people, locations, and trusted third-party providers around the world. Universal adds its own ground support offices in Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Spain—and continues to grow its network of FBOs and ground support locations today.

1981 – Universal is already administering the first contract fuel program for business aviation and helping operators reduce their fueling cost. The program is renamed the UVair Fuel Program.

mid-1980s – Universal moves its worldwide headquarters from Hobby Airport to a two-story building on Tallyho Road, less than a mile away. In 2015, Universal moves to a six-story building on Gemini Street near Johnson Space Center, where it is headquartered today.

1990s – Rapid changes in digital computing and communications technology are evolving the industry. Universal stays on the forefront by expanding its services into web-based flight planning, datalink, color weather graphics for the flight deck, and scheduling software.

2000s – Universal expands its global footprint of people and locations, and renames its owned-and-operated ground handling network as “Universal Aviation.” During this decade, business aviation is under attack by mainstream media. Working with industry associations from around the world, Universal is a strong voice for demonstrating the value business aviation brings to the community.

Today – Universal has 1,700+ people across the globe, in 20+ countries, all working together to help our clients navigate an increasingly complex world. Whether by expanding our Global Community, or introducing new ways to support our clients’ critical missions, we continue to push ourselves to be proactive and innovative in finding new and better ways to help our clients succeed. We also continue to support our industry and the community through our advocacy and philanthropic initiatives. To learn more about Universal today, visit About Us.

  • Explore operational insights from our blog.

    • How the coronavirus outbreak is impacting business aviation
      by Universal on March 28, 2020 at 14:40

      Special quarantine and health inspection procedures have been enforced in China and other locations in Asia and around the world in an attempt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Extra planning and precaution is required if you are planning a trip to China and Asia. The post How the coronavirus outbreak is impacting business aviation appeared first on Universal® Operational Insight Blog.

    • Helping Humanitarian Medical Supply Missions During the COVID-19 Crisis
      by Greg Evans on March 26, 2020 at 18:22

      Effective immediately, Universal Trip Support is waiving its fees on trip feasibility and consultation services and ground handling setup charges for any mission classified as a humanitarian medical supply flight to help ensure the success of these critical flights. The post Helping Humanitarian Medical Supply Missions During the COVID-19 Crisis appeared first on Universal® Operational Insight Blog.

    • STILL FLYING: AN URGENT MEDICAL SUPPLY FLIGHT IN CHINA DURING COVID-19
      by Universal on March 26, 2020 at 14:24

      While news headlines focus on the decline of international travel, it’s important to remember that many essential and critical missions are still being conducted by the general and business aviation communities. Many of these missions save lives or reunite people with their loved ones. During a crisis like COVID-19, our industry shines. The post STILL FLYING: AN URGENT MEDICAL SUPPLY FLIGHT IN CHINA DURING COVID-19 appeared first on Universal® Operational Insight Blog.

    • Business Aircraft Ops to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games and Paralympics
      by Hiroshi Higashiyama on March 25, 2020 at 12:28

      The 2020 Tokyo Summer Games and Paralympics are still a year away, but the time to begin planning is now. Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) has just released guidelines for non-scheduled aircraft operating to Japan for the Games. The post Business Aircraft Ops to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games and Paralympics appeared first on Universal® Operational Insight Blog.