The FAA has awarded Boeing’s Air Traffic Management organization a $3.1 million contract extension to continue work through the summer for the global communications, navigation and surveillance system (GCNSS) program while the agency decides who should be awarded the contract to begin Phase Two.
Under the contract’s initial phase, Boeing and the FAA demonstrated how concepts developed for Boeing’s military customers could be adapted and applied to air traffic management. The Boeing team has tried to show how real-time information about aircraft position, intent, the weather and even live video from inside an aircraft can be shared through a common information network. The concept is designed to give the FAA improved strategic-planning tools for enhancements to system capacity, safety and security.
Boeing established its Air Traffic Management unit in November 2000 to compete for upcoming modernization contracts, but since then it has scaled back the business unit’s activities while the FAA grapples with a looming budget crisis. As a result, the ATM business has been rolled into Boeing Phantom Works, the company’s R&D unit.
Boeing senior executives have said the business will be able to ramp up activities quickly when called for by FAA modernization initiatives.