Harris Corp. names NATS Inc. to FAA NextGen data communications team

FAREHAM, England, 10 Oct. 2012. Officials at Harris Corp.'s Government Communications Systems business chose NATS Inc., the U.S. division of the U.K.'s air traffic services provider, to develop new operational procedures and communicate the goals and benefits of FAA Data Communication Integrated Services (DCIS) to airlines and stakeholders.

Work on the DCIS contract will enable the direct transmission of air traffic service data to pilots via an aircraft's on-board avionics systems. It represents a key phase of the transition from the current, aging, analog voice system to a predominantly digital mode of communication, says an FAA spokesperson.

Using data communication, DCIS will support more efficient procedures and flight profiles by way of: revised departure clearances, automation of routine clearances, Traffic Flow Management reroutes, automated transfer of communications, optimized profile descents, and trajectory-based operations. Such advances will lend to enhanced air safety, reduced delays, increased fuel savings, and improved environmental performance.

"DCIS lays the groundwork for the move from traditional air traffic control to more active air traffic management," says John O'Sullivan, vice president, Mission Critical Networks, Harris Government Communications Systems.

NATS is a U.K. provider of air traffic management (ATM) services, handling 2.2 million flights in 2011/12, covering the U.K. and eastern North Atlantic. NATS also provides air traffic control services at 15 of the nation's major airports including Heathrow, Gatwick,


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