THE US FEDERAL Aviation Administration has barred Boeing from leading an industry consortium bidding for the $1 billion Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS) programme.

Boeing, BDM and Oracle had teamed to compete for STARS, with Boeing selected as the prime contractor. The FAA, however, says that it has informed the team that Boeing cannot be the prime contractor. The agency added that the matter is under "agency litigation", but declined to explain why. Industry team members are said to be attempting to change the FAA's thinking.

The FAA, meanwhile, hopes to issue the final request for proposals (RFP) for the terminal-radar approach-control (TRACON) replacement programme before the end of November, according to George Donohue, FAA research and acquisitions chief.

The draft RFP for the fast-track STARS project was issued in early September, with the final document expected soon after. Donohue says, however, that revisions were required, slowing its release.

Despite the delay, the FAA will try to maintain the $1 billion contract award, which is now scheduled for June 1996.

TRACON handles aircraft within 80km (45nm) of US airports. The STARS involves the upgrading of more than 250 TRACON systems. Industry officials say that the contract is worth at least $900 million. Raytheon has teamed with Hughes to bid for the STARS, while Loral is allied with Harris.

The winning contractor is expected to deliver initial STARS units in early 1998. The entire STARS system would be operational in 2001.

Source: Flight International