Two companies are protesting the seven-year, $103 million Aeronautical Data Link
Support Contract that the Federal Aviation Administration last month awarded to Universal
Systems & Technology Inc. of Fairfax, Va.

“We believe the way FAA evaluated the contract was inappropriate,” said Bob
Ramseth, contracts manager for Crown Communications Inc. of Washington. Crown filed its
agency-level protest Sept. 23.

Information Systems and Networks Corp. of Bethesda, Md., also protested to FAA, but
company officials could not be reached for comment.

Barbara Doherty, a contracting officer for Office of Dispute Resolution for
Acquisition, said the agency would not comment on the protests.

Through the ADL contract, FAA wants to convert voice communications between air traffic
controllers and pilots to a digital format. They communicate via VHF radio frequency now.

The winning vendor will help FAA develop and implement a communications system to
handle the exchange of air traffic control, weather, flight, navigation, surveillance and
aeronautical information.

Digital communications will improve safety and efficiency because controllers will rely
less on voice communications with pilots, said Tom Styc, vice president of its
Unitech’s FAA division. n

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