Controlling the airways

Lockheed Martin and Boeing have formed a strategic alliance to promote advancement of the future US air transportation system.

Aviation forecasts predict a two- to three-fold increase in air traffic by 2025. Boeing and Lockheed Martin officials said that, by working together, the companies can leverage their expertise in air traffic management and aircraft-centric solutions to implement bold changes and help the US government overcome the challenges that lie ahead in transforming the current air traffic control system.

‘To help increase the capacity of our National Airspace System by three fold over the next two decades, industry needs to look from the ground to the sky for innovation,’ said Judy Marks, president of Lockheed Martin Transportation and Security Solutions. ‘With Lockheed Martin’s 50-year history automating air traffic management and Boeing’s legacy designing and building aircraft, together we’ll be able to offer a broad perspective.’

Initially, the two companies will focus on developments in networked information sharing, advanced operational concepts, and global interoperability.

Boeing and Lockheed Martin say they will bring together their separate work on concepts and developments to establish a secure information grid that will quickly distribute information to all authorized stakeholders and users in the National Airspace System. These networked information-sharing efforts demonstrate how information can be integrated across Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) domains and with national security and defence agencies, and support a key priority of the FAA’s next-generation system.

Similarly, the two companies will expand on current trials of advanced operational concepts that deliver significant capacity, efficiency, and environmental benefits to airlines and air navigation service providers. These trials will link Lockheed Martin automation systems with the flight management systems of aircraft to provide precise and predictable routing concepts that save fuel, reduce emissions, and allow air traffic controller to be more strategic.

Finally, Boeing and Lockheed Martin will collaborate on the FAA’s global interoperability initiatives to ensure seamless operations between the United States and foreign airspace. Because of aviation’s global scale, internationally interoperable systems and procedures are critical to any successful air traffic system development.