FAA to upgrade traffic flow management system

The Federal Aviation Administration announced today that it awarded Computer Sciences Corp. a $13.5 million contract to upgrade the automated system the agency uses to ensure the most efficient flow of the nation's air traffic.

The contract could be valued at up to $589 million if all options are exercised, CSC said. The award has three base years and four two-year options.

Under the Traffic Flow Management modernization contract, CSC will design an advanced computer platform that uses air traffic data from across the country to better predict when the number of flights exceed available routes and capacity.

The FAA uses this information to run special programs to reduce delays due to severe weather and congestion. This information also helps airlines to provide accurate flight departure and arrival information to passengers.

'This system gives the FAA a daily game plan to route more planes safely and efficiently,' said FAA Administrator Marion Blakey.

The existing traffic flow system uses software developed over several decades. The contract also calls for the upgraded system to be expandable, which will allow FAA traffic managers to keep pace with the growing volume and complexity of air traffic.

Automation systems to be upgraded include the current traffic flow management centralized processing system and subsystems located at more than 70 air traffic control facilities, including the command center in Herndon, Va.

CSC said it will use about 80 percent of the contract to target modernization of the current traffic flow management infrastructure and functionality, and new functionality for the system with the remaining 20 percent.

Other companies involved in the contract include, Harris Corp. Government Communications Systems Division, Melbourne, Fla.; Unisys Corp. Federal Systems Group, Reston, Va.; Hi-Tec Systems Inc., Egg Hargor Township, N.J.; Sensis Corp., Dewitt, N.Y.; Z-Tech Corp., Rockville, Md.; Optimus Corp., Silver Spring, Md.; Planning Systems Inc., Reston, Va.; CNA Corp., Alexandria, Va.; Technology and Management Association, Galloway, N.J.; Quail Ridge Industries, Smithsburg, Md.

(Posted July 1 and updated July 6)

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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