The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has selected Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) for an eight-year, single-award IDIQ contract with a potential value of $238 million to design and implement a system that will disseminate real-time, comprehensive weather pictures to all aviation users across the National Airspace System (NAS). The Common Support Services-Weather (CSS-Wx) program will help minimize flight delays and cancellations by providing additional weather data with increased accuracy to more aviation consumers, supporting real-time operational planning and decision-making. "About 70 percent of flight delays are caused by weather," said Carl D'Alessandro, vice president and general manager, Civil Programs, Harris Government Communications Systems. "The enterprise-wide, data-sharing design of the CSS-Wx solution will reduce these delays, saving the FAA and flying public precious time and money." The Harris CSS-Wx system is scalable, with Open Geospatial Consortium standards for common weather formats, and highly advanced geospatial- and temporal-based filtering methods to process meteorological data. It applies expertise the company has gained from work on mission-critical weather programs for the FAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of Defense. Harris has a long history of developing and integrating system solutions for the FAA in support of the NAS. The company is the prime contractor for the FAA Telecommunications Infrastructure (FTI) program, which provides critical voice, data and video communications for NAS operations and mission support functions. FTI securely connects more than 4,500 national and international FAA and DOD facilities, manages over 26,000 services, and supports more than 50,000 users. Other FAA programs developed by Harris include:
- The Weather and Radar Processor, which provides weather processing dissemination and display capabilities to air traffic controllers in the en-route air traffic control environment;
- Datacomm, which provides air-to-ground digital data link networks to connect FAA air traffic control sites and data communications-equipped aircraft;
- The NAS Voice System, which provides a secure, IP-based voice network for critical communications between air traffic controllers, pilots and ground personnel nationwide;
- The Operational and Supportability Implementation System, which serves the General Aviation community in Alaska by providing weather briefing and flight planning services; and
- The National Air Space Enterprise Messaging Service, which will provide the FAA with the network-centric, collaborative information-sharing capabilities afforded by System Wide Information Management.