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$4.4 billion awarded to companies for NextGen project

May 27, 2010, 05:30 pm

The Federal Aviation Administration recently announced it awarded $4.4 billion in contracts to three companies to advance its Next Generation Air Transportation System.

The contracts, which last for the next 10 years, were given to Boeing, General Dynamics and ITT. Through the agreements, the companies will work to exhibit NextGen features within the air traffic system on a wider scale.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the NextGen plan offers companies with an economic opportunity by expanding their workforce while improving the country's air transportation infrastructure.

"Under NextGen, air travelers will be able to fly to their destinations safer and faster," LaHood said.

The new systems presented by NextGen should give pilots and air traffic controllers a more accurate idea as to the locations of planes. Rather than using radar-based location systems, the new infrastructure will rely on satellite-based GPS to mark the positions of air planes.

A number of NextGen components have already been installed in airports across the country, including fields in Philadelphia and in Juneau, Alaska.

The contracts awarded to the three companies are under the System Engineering 2020 portion of the project, which has a $7 billion ceiling. That threshold gives it the distinction of being the largest amount awarded through the FAA.ADNFCR-3158-ID-19805076-ADNFCR

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