Rockwell to Bid for Satellite Air Traffic Contract
Rockwell International Corp. said it will enter the competition for a $500-million, multiyear contract to build a satellite-based air traffic management system for the Federal Aviation Administration.
The project would use the precision navigation capabilities of the U.S. Global Positioning System, or GPS, a constellation of 24 satellites that can track aircraft accurately anywhere on Earth. Rockwell built the GPS satellites.
The program is the FAA’s first step in switching from its existing ground-based navigation aids and radar-based systems to GPS. The basic satellite navigation system is expected to be operational by late 1997.
Seal Beach-based Rockwell is leading a contract team that includes GTE Government Systems Corp. and Booz, Allen & Hamilton Inc. management and technology consultants.
The FAA this year scrapped a microwave-based air traffic control system it already had spent $400 million developing, saying that the GPS satellite system represented a major technological improvement.