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TMCNet:  FAA NextGen a step closer with data link network from SITA and Harris

[September 10, 2013]

FAA NextGen a step closer with data link network from SITA and Harris

(M2 PressWIRE Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ATLANTA - SITA today announced a seven-year contract with Harris Corporation, the systems integrator for one of the cornerstone US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) NextGen programs. SITA is providing Harris with the equipment to deploy an FAA-approved aircraft ground station network that will enable air to ground digital data communications. SITA already provides aircraft communications to around half of the airlines in the US. The contract is part of the $150 million Data Communications Network Services (DCNS) element of Harris Data Communications Integrated Services (DCIS) Program. Aircraft digital data communication is one of the primary components of the FAAs NextGen system. Moving air traffic control from voice to data communications will increase efficiency and safety. In Europe for example, it is estimated that, when all aircraft are fully equipped, the addition of data link usage for ATC will increase capacity by 11 percent.

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; enabling the movement away from voice communications for air traffic control to digital data connectivity.

SITA is a telecommunications provider owned by the airline community operating a global VHF data link (VDL) ground station network that enables aircraft communications with airlines and ATC operators. Since 1999, SITA has provided the FAA oceanic centers with access to aircraft avionics called Future Air Navigation Systems (FANS-1/A), enabling a revolution in oceanic ATC. With this network from SITA and Harris, all of the FAAs ATC center systems will be able to communicate with FANS 1/A equipped aircraft. 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.

SITA has been promoting, and enabling, the move of ATC to data link since the air transport community launched the first standardization 25 years ago. It developed the required technology in a cost-efficient way and deployed it through network partnerships with ANSPs.

Clinch, added: We at SITA have been strong supporters of the move of ATC to data link and recognize that the ATC use of VHF data link will overtake airline usage to become the defining factor that keeps VHF technology at the forefront in aircraft communications. SITA and Harris have been working together since SITA selected Harris 15 years ago to develop a ground station providing the ICAO standard VDL service. Harris will now replace SITAs 330 existing US stations with new FAA-compliant VDL stations. This will be part of the overall upgrade to the FAA ground systems.

SITA photos and videos available here: http://www.sita.aero/content/sita-logos-and-image-library For further information (not for publication) contact: SITA Brenda Flinter Media Relations Manager Mobile: +353 87 750 6229 Email: Brenda.Flinter@sita.aero Trevelino Keller (USA) Carrie Crabill Tel : +1 404-214-0722 X102 Mobile: +1 404-493-9034 Email : ccrabill@trevelinokeller.com Leidar Charlie Pryor Director Tel : +44 (0)20 7031 8270 Email : charlie.pryor@leidar.com Skype: LEIDAR_Charlie Notes to Editors: About SITA SITA is the world's leading specialist in air transport communications and IT solutions. SITA delivers and manages business solutions for airline, airport, GDS, government and other customers over the worlds most extensive network, which forms the communications backbone of the global air transport industry.

SITAs portfolio includes managed global communications, infrastructure and outsourcing services, as well as services for airline commercial management and passenger operations, flight operations, aircraft operations and air-to-ground communications, airport management and operations, baggage operations, transportation security and border management, cargo operations and more.

With a customer service team of over 2,000 staff around the world, SITA invests significantly in achieving best-in-class customer service, providing integrated local and global support for both its communications and IT application services.

SITA has two main subsidiaries: OnAir, which is the leading provider of in-flight connectivity, and CHAMP Cargosystems, the world's only IT company dedicated solely to air cargo. SITA also operates two joint ventures providing services to the air transport community: Aviareto for aircraft asset management and CertiPath for secure electronic identity management.

SITA is one of the world's most international companies. Its global reach is based on local presence, with services for around 450 air transport industry members and 2,800 customers in over 200 countries and territories. Set up in 1949 with 11 member airlines, SITA today employs people of more than 140 nationalities, speaking over 70 different languages. SITA had consolidated revenues of US$1.57 billion in 2012.

For further information go to www.sita.aero ((M2 Communications disclaims all liability for information provided within M2 PressWIRE. Data supplied by named party/parties. Further information on M2 PressWIRE can be obtained at http://www.presswire.com on the world wide web. Inquiries to info@m2.com)).

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