FAA to spend another $57m on STARS

Kenneth Mead

The Federal Aviation Administration has awarded Raytheon Co. a $57 million contract option to continue deployment of the new color display Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System, or STARS, a joint procurement between FAA and the Defense Department.

STARS is an open-architecture air traffic automation system that provides high-resolution color displays and new computer processing and communications equipment. System features include a six-level display of weather conditions, multiradar tracking capability, and easy incorporation of new hardware and software.

FAA still needs to make a decision on what technology it will use to complete terminal modernization based on cost, time and capabilities, said Transportation inspector general Kenneth Mead in congressional testimony last month.

Last year, FAA cut its commitment to just 47 STARS sites at a cost of $1.46 billion. Cost overruns and delays had forced FAA into an incremental approach.

The agency is now considering whether to retain the Common Automated Radar Terminal System at facilities where it is installed, rather than upgrading to STARS. Common ARTS provides many of STARS' functions, but the majority of sites with Common ARTS still have aging displays. FAA had planned to install new displays when it upgraded sites to STARS.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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