The FAA’s decision last month to award ITT Corp. a $1.8 billion contract (including options) to develop and deploy automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) technology sets in motion a major NextGen ATC project. But it will take years for the full benefits to be realized.
Bobby Sturgell, acting FAA Administrator, said ITT’s proposal, which beat those submitted by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, represented “the best value and least risk.” The contract spans an 18-year period, during which ITT will be responsible for overall system integration and engineering. Under additional contract options, following its deployment the company will operate and maintain the system through 2025. The initial three-year contract is valued at $207 million.
According to ITT, the company will work with the FAA to deploy a nationwide ATC surveillance network consisting of field radio sites, data processing centers, network operations centers and equipment to enable delivery of surveillance data to ATC facilities. The deployed ADS-B surveillance network will provide more accurate and updated position data using GPS to determine aircraft position. Other benefits, according to ITT, include a surveillance network that is more cost effective than today’s network of radar systems, a potential future datalink for delivery of safety information to aircraft cockpits and a mechanism for future air-to-air exchange of position data that will dramatically enhance pilot situational awareness.
According to the FAA, ADS-B is a “crucial component” of the next-generation air transportation system. In short, ADS-B is designed to improve the safety, capacity and efficiency of the National Airspace System while providing a flexible, expandable platform to accommodate future air traffic growth. When properly equipped with ADS-B, pilots and controllers will see the same real-time displays of air traffic. The system will also give pilots access to weather services, terrain maps and flight information services.
“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.”
ITT provides technology and support for civil and military air traffic control systems, in addition to GPS technology or satellite systems. Every GPS satellite launched features an ITT navigation payload, the company said.
The ITT team includes AT&T, Thales, WSI, SAIC, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Aerospace Engineering, Sunhillo, Comsearch, MCS of Tampa, Pragmatics, Washington Consulting Group, ACSS, Sandia Aerospace and NCR.