ETW Staff – Mumbai
SITA has announced a seven year contract with Harris Corporation, the systems integrator for US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) NextGen programs. SITA is providing the equipment for aircraft ground station network that will enable air to ground digital data communications (DDC). The contract is part of the US$150 million Data Communications Network Services (DCNS) element of Harris’ Data Communications Integrated Services (DCIS) Program. Aircraft DDC is one of the primary components of the FAA’s NextGen system.
John O’Sullivan, vice president civil programs, Harris Government Communications Systems, said, “Teaming with SITA allows us to provide a VHF data link network providing service to the FAA thereby enabling the movement away from voice communications for air traffic control to digital data connectivity.”
SITA operates on a global VHF data link (VDL) ground station network that enables aircraft communications with airlines and ATC operators. These avionics use the airline industry standard ACARS data link system. Harris will deploy an ACARS message processor using SITA software, to process all the FAA messages in a secure environment and send the airline communications via SITA. Philip Clinch, vice president aircraft services, SITA, said, “SITA uses Harris VDL stations to provide data link networks to the European Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) complying with the Single European Sky mandate. We responded to the FAA selection of Harris to provide their NextGen VHF data link service by providing Harris the means to deliver this required service, while also guaranteeing FAA-compliant service to the many airlines that use SITA AIRCOM in the USA.”
Harris will now replace SITA’s 330 existing US stations with new FAA-compliant VDL stations as a part of the overall upgrade.