FAA gives $4 billion in contracts to Boeing, ITT and Fairfax's General Dynamics

By Marjorie Censer
Capital Business Staff Writer
Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday awarded contracts worth more than $4 billion over 10 years to Boeing, ITT and General Dynamics as part of a broad agency effort to modernize the nation's airspace system.

FAA spokeswoman Tammy L. Jones said Boeing will receive $1.7 billion, ITT $1.4 billion and Falls Church-based General Dynamics $1.2 billion. The companies will receive the funds incrementally over the course of the contract as specific tasks are completed.

The companies will work on producing a more precise profile of where an aircraft is supposed to be at a given time. They have also been asked to develop a modernized weather-imaging system so that pilots can know more about potentially dangerous weather conditions.

The contracts were granted through the agency's $7 billion System Engineering 2020 program, which represents the largest program in the agency's history. The FAA said that two more contracts will be issued as part of the initiative.

Ed Sayadian, vice president of ITT's air traffic management business, said the award's first order, worth $1.2 million, will fund the company's program management office. ITT will meet with the FAA within the next two weeks to launch the contract, Sayadian said, and the firm expects task orders to be generated soon after that meeting. The company's Herndon office will conduct most of the work.

Boeing spokesman Daryl Stephenson said the bulk of its NextGen team would be based in Chantilly, but other offices across the country would also be contributing. He declined to say how much the company received in its initial funding.

Mark Meudt, a spokesman for General Dynamics Information Technology, also declined to give the amount of the agency's first order.

According to the FAA, each contractor will team with subcontractors, of which 12 are small businesses, six are owned by women and two are owned by disabled veterans.

Though NextGen is making progress, upgrades that are key to the program -- including a management system for high-altitude traffic -- have experienced problems, Calvin Scovel III, the Transportation Department's inspector general, testified at a congressional hearing last month.

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