Lockheed Martin Proposes Advanced Terminal Air Traffic Control Automation Alternative to Stars
ROCKVILLE, MD, 03/14/2001 -- Lockheed Martin Air Traffic Management, a business unit of Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), today announced it will provide an unsolicited proposal to the FAA for a cost and time-saving approach to delivering modern technology to the FAA's terminal air traffic control facilities or TRACONs. Lockheed Martin is also recommending that the government conduct an independent cost/benefit analysis of its proposal versus the current approach for terminal air traffic control modernization. The company will offer the FAA a firm fixed-priced proposal as an alternate approach to the current Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS) program, which, as reported by the Department of Transportation Inspector General's Office last year, is nearly $500 million over budget and 3.5 years late.*
Commenting on the company's offer, Lockheed Martin Air Traffic Management President Don Antonucci said, We can begin the delivery of new technology to FAA terminal facilities within 12 months and complete the deployment within three years. Our proposal will save hundreds of millions of dollars, which the FAA can spend on other critically needed technology and safety enhancements.
Specifically, Lockheed Martin will offer to complete the deployment of modern back room software and hardware to 44 TRACONs currently running 20-to-30 year old systems. The company has already deployed 136 TRACONs, including the busiest in the world, with modern, open architecture automation systems known as Common ARTS, on time and on budget between 1998 and 2000. Common ARTS implements Free Flight Phase 1 and SafeFlight 21 tools and includes certified Conflict Alert, Minimum Safe Altitude, and Mode C Intruder safety functions.
Additionally, Lockheed Martin will offer to supply modern color air traffic controller displays for the TRACON front rooms. The FAA has already ordered 294 of Lockheed Martin's ARTS Color Displays (ACDs) for six of the nation's busiest terminal facilities-New York, Washington D.C., Dallas/Fort Worth, Atlanta, Northern California and the new Potomac TRACON. The first site, New York, began using its 56 displays last August, within 15 months of contract award. The ACDs replace 15-to-30 year old monochrome displays with modern, commercial technology. They enhance safety and efficiency by providing controllers significant improvements in the recognition of weather, track data and safety alerts.
Antonucci noted that when STARS was awarded in 1996, Common ARTS and the ACDs were in the design stage and operational suitability had not been proven. Today, he said, Common ARTS is the world's most modern and functionally advanced terminal air traffic control system. The open system design can be easily expanded and upgraded to provide new efficiency tools to controller and maintenance work forces. With the deployment completed and over two years of operational experience, Common ARTS and the ACDs could be the best approach.
To that end, the company is recommending that, as part of the assessment of the Lockheed Martin proposal, the government conduct an independent cost/benefit analysis of Common ARTS versus STARS, focusing on functionality, performance, cost and schedule risks.
We believe this analysis will show that Common ARTS is already delivering capability unmatched by STARS until 2004, at the earliest, said Antonucci. We think our proposal is in the taxpayer's best interests. For less time and money, we will bring the most modern system to the field and enable the FAA to focus on other initiatives that will enable free flight, improve safety, and address airspace capacity issues.
A leader in airspace management solutions, Lockheed Martin Air Traffic Management customers currently include the FAA and international civil aviation authorities in the United Kingdom, Germany, Korea, the People's Republic of China, Argentina and New Zealand. The company employs approximately 1,300 people at major facilities in Rockville, Maryland; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Eagan, Minnesota; and Southampton, England.