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Rockwell Collins to be part of pursuit of big NextGen contract

Dave DeWitte, CR Gazette –

Rockwell Collins will be on a ITT Excelis-led team in the pursuit of the next major contract to build the FAA’s new satellite-based air traffic control system, NextGen.

ITT Excelis, based in Herdon, Va., announced some details of its bid to the FAA for the Data Communications Integrated Services (DCIS) this month.

NextGen – the Next Generation Air Traffic Control System – will be a multibillion-dollar technological transformation of the air traffic control system that will result in a need for improved technology in aircraft cockpit electronics.

The DCIS will permit real-time communication between controllers and aircraft flight crews through digital data transmissions instead of analog voice technology, the company said. The use of digital transmission will allow controllers to transmit instructions to planes simultaneously rather than in succession, streamlining the flight processes and shortening flight times.

ITT Excelis is building the first step in the NextGen system by installing its ground infrastructure, for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, considered the backbone of the the system. It expects to complete the installation of nearly 800 grouund stations nationwide by 2013.

Other members of the ITT Excelis group will include Airbus, United Airlines, JetBlue Airways, CSC and Raytheon.

John Kefaliotis, ITT Excelis’s vice president of next generation’s transportation systems,

said the team will work with the FAA to demonstrate that equipping aircraft with data communications technology “will unlock real economic growth and benefits across the aviation industry.”

A contract award is expected by June.

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