FAA PUTS LOCKHEED MARTIN OCEANIC AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEM INTO FULL OPERATION AT OAKLAND
ROCKVILLE, MD, 10/31/2005 --
A new system that will significantly improve the efficiency of air traffic management over the Pacific Ocean became fully operational in October at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Oakland Air Route Traffic Control Center in Fremont, CA. Oakland is the second of three FAA sites where the Advanced Technologies Oceanic Procedures (ATOP) system, developed by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT], is now operational; air traffic controllers in New York began using the system in June.
“This is another major milestone in deployment of the ATOP system, which promises major benefits for air traffic controllers and ultimately for airlines,” said Judy Marks, president of Lockheed Martin Transportation and Security Solutions. “We are successfully meeting FAA’s challenge to create a system that increases efficiency and oceanic airspace capacity to meet growing international air traffic demands.”
The ATOP system automates what had been manual procedures for managing aircraft separation over oceans, and enables controllers to reduce spacing between aircraft while preserving passenger safety and improving efficiency.
Before ATOP, oceanic flights were manually guided with the help of paper flight strips, requiring controllers to separate flights by up to 100 miles. With ATOP, separations for properly equipped aircraft have the ability to be reduced to 30 miles, allowing the FAA to reduce delays, support fuel-efficient routes, and accommodate increased international air traffic. When fully deployed, the ATOP system will manage 80 percent of the world’s controlled oceanic airspace, covering 24 million square miles over the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans.
The FAA and Lockheed Martin are also deploying ATOP at Anchorage, AK. The site is scheduled to begin operational transition in the spring of 2006.
Supporting Lockheed Martin on the ATOP program are Adacel Inc., supplier of oceanic automation software; Airways Corporation of New Zealand, the first company to apply communications, navigation, surveillance and air traffic management (CNS/ATM) technology developed specifically for the oceanic environment; and Sunhillo Corporation, provider of the external communications server, which provides access to external data interfaces.