FAA to spend $1.7 billion on upgraded telecommunications

Harris Corporation has been awarded a Telecommunications Infrastructure contract, worth an initial $1.7 billion, by the US Federal Aviation Administration.

The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced that Harris Corporation has been awarded a contract to modernise, operate and manage the telecommunications infrastructure that air traffic controllers use to communicate with each other and with pilots.

Under the FAA Telecommunications Infrastructure (FTI) contract, Harris will work with the FAA to phase out older telecommunications systems and replace them with one provider responsible for operating and maintaining the network.

The contract calls for the replacement of FAA-owned multiplexing and switching networks, as well as telecommunications services currently leased from multiple providers.

The performance-based contract is said to consist of a five-year base with options that could extend the period of performance up to 15 years. The FAA anticipates contract value to grow beyond the initial evaluated cost of approximately $1.7 billion to an estimated $3.5 billion.

The FAA’s current telecommunications network is said to consist of owned and leased systems nearing the end of their contract and service lives.

The contract is expected to phase out these older systems during the first five to six years. The FTI network will primarily support the FAA, the US Department of Defence, and the United States Coast Guard.

It will connect some 5,000 locations over 14,000 separate connections, and will replace more than 30,000 circuits.