The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today that CSSI, Inc., of Washington, D.C., a woman-owned small business, has won a contract to perform engineering work that will help transform and modernize the nation’s airspace system into the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).
The $280 million contract is the first of up to six that will be awarded under an umbrella portfolio called System Engineering 2020 (SE-2020). SE-2020 has a ceiling of $7 billion, making it the largest set of awards in the agency’s history.
“Small businesses are America’s economic engine,” said Deputy Transportation Secretary John Porcari. “Innovative ideas to help advance our nation’s airspace won’t come only from large companies. Small businesses are uniquely positioned to help make NextGen a success.”
Small businesses will serve as the prime contractor for two of the six possible awards under SE-2020. All of the contracts are designed to have small business participation. CSSIwill take the lead over 10 subcontractors in performing engineering work in support of NextGen projects.
“This is a great step forward in our push towards NextGen,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “The FAA will have the flexibility to do the critical design and research work needed for a timely deployment of NextGen technologies.”
Work performed under the SE-2020 umbrella will complement NextGen programs that are already in full deployment, such as Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B), the satellite-based system that controllers are now using to monitor and separate aircraft in the skies over certain parts of the country and will be deployed nationwide in 2013. Companies awarded contracts under SE-2020 will research emerging procedures and technologies and perform systems engineering to determine the best way to deploy the NextGen initiatives on a wide-scale.
Some new airspace procedures are already being tested in demonstration flights. Examples of future enhancements that will be further evaluated under SE-2020 include Trajectory Based Operations, which allow aircraft to operate the most efficient routes, and Optimized Profile Descents, which allow aircraft to fly smooth, continuous descents to airports.