FAA Upgrading Transportation Through $2 Billion Contract

Verizon Public Sector has won an award from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for a multi-billion-dollar contract to design, build, operate, and maintain the administration’s next-generation communications platform.

The $2.4 billion, 15-year modernization vehicle – dubbed the Enterprise Network Services contract – designates Verizon to build the FAA a “dynamic, highly available, and secure enterprise network” to support all its mission critical applications across the National Airspace System (NAS).

“This is an incredible opportunity for Verizon to lead the nation’s largest government transportation agency through a telecommunications infrastructure transformation that utilizes the latest advances in technology and networking solutions,” said Verizon Business CEO Kyle Malady.

NAS provides air traffic management to more than 45,000 flights and 2.9 million airline passengers traveling across the 29 million square miles that make up the U.S. national airspace system.

“From dynamic services and bandwidth provisioning, to improved insight and visibility into network service configuration and operation, we are excited to help the FAA with a robust solution that will benefit the National Airspace System and administrative users alike,” Malady said.

The new enterprise platform will provide the FAA with features such as dynamic service provisioning and reconfiguration, survivability, on-demand service flow routing to deliver higher security, faster performance, and a flexible, more seamless user experience at airports nationwide.

Verizon said it will be the prime contractor for the FAA Enterprise Network Services project and will team up with Saab and Frequentis to carry out the initiative.

Erik Smith, president and CEO at Saab, said, “With Saab’s FAA, air traffic management, and system wide information management experience, our team is ready to help the FAA evolve toward their information-centric operations vision.”

“We are looking forward to supporting Verizon’s FENS team in its evolution of the FAA’s network infrastructure,” said Dieter Eier, president of Frequentis.

The contract comes after FAA has said it needs to spend money to modernize many of its outdated IT systems. Airline officials across the country are supporting the agency in that goal, telling Congress to provide more funding for FAA technology.

Earlier this year, the FAA’s critical alert system failed, temporarily halting thousands of departing flights across the country for the first time since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The agency blamed the outage on contractors who accidentally deleted files from a database and its backup, and said there was no sign of a cyber attack.