The US Federal Aviation Administration is to award Lockheed Martin a sole-source contract to update National Airspace System (NAS) software which will serve all phases of the US aviation agency's air traffic control modernisation effort.

The En Route Automation Modernisation (ERAM) programme will "address concerns with the long term viability of NAS support future demands for aviation services", says the FAA.

"The current en route ATC automation system is a mix of technologies resulting from a piecemeal evolution of capabilities developed over several decades. The ultimate objective of the ERAM programme is to incrementally deploy functionality that upon completion results in a single cohesive en route automation system," it adds.

ERAM includes replacement of operating and applications software used in the Host Computer System (HCS), which was delivered to the FAA in the early 1980s. The FAA elected not to compete for the contract as Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor on the Host & Oceanic Computer System Replacement and handles HCS sustainment. The firm is also prime on the Display System Replacement and User Request Evaluation Tool projects. Lockheed Martin is teamed with Computer Sciences Corp, which is leading the Controller Pilot Data Link Communications effort.

The FAA plans to formally award the contract to Lockheed Martin during fiscal year 2002.

Source: Flight International