NASA deal to ease FAA integration

NASA awarded Computer Sciences Corp. and Raytheon Systems Co. a $150 million

contract to help integrate the agency's air traffic management products

at the Federal Aviation Administration.

The NASA Air Traffic Management System Development and Integration contract

(ATMSDI) will deepen NASA's commitment to finding ways to make the FAA's

air traffic management system safer and more efficient, said Robert Jacobsen,

chief of the Advanced Air Transportation Technologies Office at NASA's Ames

Research Center. Jacobsen spoke during the Air Traffic Control Association's

Air Traffic Management Safety and Efficiency Research and Development symposium

yesterday in Crystal City, Va.

NASA chose CSC Federal Sector and Raytheon from a total of five prime

bidders for the three-year contract.

Jacobsen's organization, which is part of the FAA/NASA Interagency Air

Traffic Management Integrated Product Team, is trying to advance the FAA's

Free Flight program into a mature system, he said. Free Flight is a concept

under which pilots supplied with information about air traffic, position

and weather conditions will have more discretion in planning routes within

predetermined areas.

Part of NASA's vision for Free Flight is called Distributed Air/Ground

Traffic Management, which will allow flight crews, air traffic service providers

and aeronautical operational control personnel to use information available

to pilots and controllers to choose routes and give them flexibility to

change routes.

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