Major Players Form Teams for FAA’s DataComm Contract

 - January 10, 2012, 3:25 PM

Competing contractors have disclosed the industry teams they’ve assembled to pursue the FAA’s Data Communications Integrated Services (DCIS) contract, the second major step toward building the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). The DCIS contractor will provide a data communications network connecting ground and aircraft automation systems, enabling digital data communications between pilots and air traffic controllers starting in 2015. The contractor will also administer an $80 million avionics equipage incentive program to supply early-adopter airlines with the necessary equipment. Yesterday, ITT Exelis announced a DCIS “pursuit team” that includes Airbus, United Airlines, JetBlue Airways, CSC, Rockwell Collins and Raytheon as major partners. ITT Exelis is building the ground radio infrastructure for automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast, the first major step toward NextGen. In interviews with AIN, two other DCIS hopefuls–Lockheed Martin and Harris–named their partners. Lockheed Martin, already contractor for the FAA’s en route automation modernization (Eram) program, is pursuing the DCIS contract with lead partners Boeing, Level 3 Communications, Telcordia and six unidentified airlines. Harris, already contractor for the FAA’s Telecommunications Infrastructure, named Arinc, GE Aviation, Thales and an unidentified airline as lead partners. The companies expect the FAA to award the 17-year DCIS contract in June.