Harris Corporation has won a $141 million contract from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to modernize India’s air traffic management (ATM) communications infrastructure, the principals announced at the sixth U.S.-India Summit on May 10 in Mumbai. The AAI has chosen Harris as the prime contractor and systems integrator for its Futuristic Telecommunications Infrastructure (FTI) initiative. Under the plan, Harris will upgrade 91 sites for ATC operations.
The 15-year contract will cover air traffic operations across all Indian airspace. Pilots will no longer need to change to different frequencies through Indian airspace once FTI goes into operation. India’s airports continue to grow more congested as domestic air traffic expands at 18 percent per year. In addition, the country’s regional connectivity scheme is fast adding unserved and remote airports in the hinterland, making FTI crucial to upgrade network operations and improve the security, reliability, and quality of India’s ATM network.
Leveraging Harris’s FAA-managed network services model, the FTI will serve as a communications gateway in “creating demand for new aircraft, air navigation technologies, airport security equipment, and infrastructure,” said AAI chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra.
Harris and AAI will work in partnership to migrate hundreds of telecommunications services onto the network. The systems integration includes equipment modernization, network centers, security operations, satellite gateways for remote locations, and air traffic systems. Authorities will operate and maintain the system constantly to allow for an immediate response to potential outages and ensure network strength and reliability.
“The selection of our FAA-proven managed network services model allows the agency to benefit from the most current telecommunications technology, enhanced safety and efficiency, and reduced operational costs,” said Rick Simonian, vice president and general manager of Harris Electronic Systems Mission Networks.
FTI will also substantially decrease telecommunications costs over time through streamlined service, reduce communications-related delays at airports, and provide simpler network service structure through an integrated network.