The Federal Aviation Administration yesterday awarded Booz Allen Hamilton a $700 million contract to upgrade the agency's air traffic control. (Gannett News Service)
The Federal Aviation Administration yesterday awarded Booz Allen Hamilton a $700 million contract to upgrade the agency's air traffic control.
The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) is designed to move FAA from a ground-based air-traffic-control system to a satellite-based approach. The move is "vital to meeting future demand, and to avoiding gridlock in the sky and at our nation's airports," according to FAA's website.
The 10-year contract includes systems engineering, investment and business case analysis, planning, forecasting and financial management support services, according to a Booz Allen press release.
Booz Allen Vice President Brian Legan said in a statement that the NextGen program is very complex and will require "cooperation and coordination among a large set of government and industry stakeholders."
NextGen will incorporate GPS, weather forecasting, data networking and digital communications and will require new airport infrastructure and procedures, including more responsibility for pilots as opposed to air traffic controllers on the ground, according to FAA. The agency believes the new system will allow more aircraft to fly closer together on more direct routes, reducing flight delays and limiting carbon emissions, fuel consumption and noise.