WASHINGTON, 8 Dec. 2009. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is soliciting bids from companies interested in competing for NextGen support contracts with an approximate combined value of $7 billion, the largest award in the agency's history.
Under the umbrella awards, called System Engineering 2020 (SE2020), the FAA will award as many as five separate contracts for research and development and systems engineering work that will help the agency deliver NextGen.
The SE2020 contracts will be awarded to teams of companies, as many as three of which will perform research and development work and two of which will perform systems engineering work. This work will complement and enhance major NextGen initiatives already under way, such as Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B), System Wide Information Management and Data Communications. Contract teams will focus on a series of operational capabilities, including Trajectory Based Operations, Collaborative Air Traffic Management and Reduced Weather Impact. The goal is to achieve early NextGen successes to improve safety and bring greater efficiencies to the nation's airspace system.
The team concept is designed to create competitive synergy within each group, driving innovation so that each team comes up with the best possible product, FAA officials say. The FAA also structured the contracts, using market survey data, to encourage bids from teams that will include small companies as prime contractors as well as subcontractors. The agency is looking for the best and the brightest, regardless of size.
Five-year contracts will be awarded next summer, with subsequent three- and two-year options.