Boeing, General Dynamics, And ITT To Produce Real-Time
The FAA awarded three separate Next Generation Air
Transportation System (NextGen) contracts Wednesday totaling up to
$4.4 billion over 10 years. Under the contracts, the companies will
perform work that will demonstrate NextGen procedures in real time
on a large scale within the current air traffic system.
"NextGen is an economic opportunity that will challenge
innovative companies to expand their workforce and help us
modernize our National Airspace System," said U.S. Transportation
Secretary Ray LaHood. "Under NextGen, air travelers will be able to
fly to their destinations safer and faster."
Boeing, General Dynamics and ITT were awarded the contracts
worth up to $4.4 billion. The three contracts, like one for
$280 million awarded last month to CSSI, Inc., are part of System
Engineering 2020 (SE2020). Two more contracts are expected under
SE2020, which has a ceiling of $7 billion, making it the largest
set of awards in FAA history. Boeing, General Dynamics and ITT will
conduct large-scale demonstrations, including the use of aircraft
as flying laboratories, to see how NextGen concepts, procedures and
technologies can be integrated into the current system.
"NextGen is an intricate network of systems that involves
everything from air traffic control to weather," said FAA
Administrator Randy Babbitt. "We need to have the right tools
to make sure we integrate all these different components safely and
The FAA will work with these companies to develop and
demonstrate new procedures in four dimensions, adding the element
of time to the current three-dimensional profile of an aircraft's
latitude, longitude and altitude. Introducing time to this profile
means that under NextGen, pilots and controllers will know not only
where an aircraft is with greater precision but when the aircraft
is supposed to be there. Unlike the current system of "roads in the
sky," 4-D operations will allow aircraft to fly from Point A to
Point B more directly, while taking into consideration factors such
as heavy traffic and bad weather.
Other work to be performed by Boeing, General Dynamics and ITT
includes the development and rollout of modernized weather
services. NextGen weather imaging will allow pilots and controllers
to see bad weather stratified by different altitudes, giving them a
more detailed and accurate picture of severe weather conditions.
The improved information also means that pilots and controllers
won't have to interpret weather information, allowing them to plan
All of the SE2020 contracts are designed to encourage the
participation of small businesses. Of the subcontractors that will
team with Boeing, General Dynamics and ITT, 12 are small
businesses, six are owned by women and two are owned by disabled
SE2020 represents an innovative contracting vehicle that
streamlines NextGen funding from across the FAA, allowing work to
be completed in an efficient and cost effective manner.