FAA awards $1B support services pact

The Federal Aviation Administration last month awarded to Lockheed Martin Corp. the National Airspace System Implementation Support Contract-II one of the largest services contracts ever awarded by the agency. Under NISC-II which is potentially worth more than $1 billion Lockheed Martin will provide engineering systems integration planning automation logistics support and other services to more than 30 000 FAA facilities nationwide.

The contract will help the FAA modernize the National Airspace System (NAS) as it upgrades to new systems equipment and components at FAA flight service stations air traffic control towers maintenance organizations regional offices and other sites. These upgrades are critical to ensure the safety and reliability of the NAS.

"A lot of the staff provided to help in this effort are engineers planners technicians and environmental folks " said John Romaine program manager for NISC-II at the FAA. "We will focus on the front-end acquisition process what logistical support is needed for these new systems and at the back end when systems start rolling off the production line."

NISC-II will provide support to more than 100 projects under the NAS modernization including the Voice Switching and Control System which is an integrated air/ground voice communications system and the Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System which will replace air traffic control automation equipment.

As these systems are developed "we will look at how new equipment is installed how it works with other equipment and how systems interrelate " Romaine said. "The tough part is that it is being done in a dynamic environment."

NISC-II is an important contract to help keep the NAS modernization on track said Dick Swauger technology coordinator at the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. "If we don't have this [NAS] infrastructure in place we will be in big trouble" in the future particularly as air traffic continues to increase he said. "We need machines machines that work. Everything has to be tied together at one point to make it all work."

NISC-II is a similar but significantly larger follow-on contract to NISC-I which was awarded to General Electric Aerospace in 1993. Lockheed Martin acquired and now holds NISC-I through a series of company mergers. Under NISC-I Lockheed Martin worked on thousands of projects and expects to have even more under the follow-on as the number of NAS projects begins to ramp up said Steve Lockwood director of intracorporate programs and capture manager for NISC-II at Lockheed Martin.

"I would guess the next contract will be more technically deep than the original [contract] and that we'll do more engineering work as we bring more equipment into the NAS " Lockwood said.

The contract is the company's largest services contract ever. Because much of the work calls for systems integration it should be easier and less expensive to administer one larger contract Romaine said. He said the En Route Centers Requirements Automation Support contract an automation and services contract that was spun off as a separate contract from NISC-I last year will be merged back into NISC-II.

ECARS is held by Washington Consulting Group the only other bidder on NISC-II. Bill Behan vice president of WCG's aviation group said the company will continue to compete for additional contracts.

NISC-II has a four-year base period valued at $350 million plus three two-year options. It contains a maximum of 22.5 million hours of technical and professional services and is potentially worth $1.044 billion over 10 years. Lockheed Martin's teammates include TRW Inc. Science Applications International Corp. Arthur D. Little Inc. Information Spectrum Inc. LB&M Associates Inc. and Automated Information Management Inc.

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