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Friday, August 31, 2007

ITT Trumps Raytheon, Lockheed For ADS-B Contract

The FAA on Aug. 30  named ITT Corp. as the prime contractor for the roll-out of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) in the United States, a contract valued at $1.86 billion over 18 years. Matched against proposals by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, the ITT bid “combined the best value and the least risk,” FAA Deputy Administrator Robert Sturgell told reporters in a teleconference.

The first phase of the contract, costing $207 million over three years, will see the development, testing and deployment of ADS-B, initially in the Gulf of Mexico, Louisville, Ken., Philadelphia and Juneau, Alaska. In six years, ADS-B “will be available everywhere we have radar,” Sturgell vowed.

ITT has proposed a dual-frequency approach to ADS-B aircraft position reporting involving the use of Universal Access Transceivers on GA aircraft and 1090 MHz Extended Squitter transponders on airliners and other large aircraft.

The Air Transport Association, representing the airline industry, issued a statement applauding the FAA decision. “We recognize the critical role this technology will play in creating the NextGen ATC system and look forward to working with the FAA and other industry stakeholders on the earliest possible delivery of its operational, financial and environmental benefits,” ATA said.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, representing GA pilots, questioned what, ultimately, will be required for avionics equipage.

“This won’t be like the hurried Mode C transponder mandate, when Congress gave aircraft owners 18 months to equip. If ADS-B is ultimately mandated for general aviation, it won’t be until 2020,” said Phil Boyer, AOPA president. “The open question its about when and what will be required because FAA rushed the ADS-B contract without much consultation with the industry. The notice of proposed rulemaking, setting the regulations and procedures on the transition to ADS-B for air traffic control, hasn’t been released yet.”

The ITT team includes AT&T, Thales North America, WSI, SAIC, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Aerospace Engineering, Sunhillo, Comsearch, MCS of Tampa, Pragmatics, Washington Consulting Group, Aviation Communications and Surveillance Systems, Sandia Aerospace and NCR Corp.

“The ITT team is proud to have been selected by the FAA as its partner in the establishment of this technology that will form the basis for the transformation of the air transportation system under the FAA’s NextGen vision,” said Steve Gaffney, president of ITT Defense. “ITT and its premier team of industry partners are committed to working with the FAA to ensure this NextGen cornerstone program delivers its full potential for enhanced National Airspace System safety, efficiency and capacity.”
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