Data Services Opportunity at the FAA

Mohamad Elbarasse_headshot_7-23-2013_For WordPressby Mohamad ElbarasseAnalyst

The FAA released an RFI for data services under the Aeronautical Communication Services (ACS) contract on June 10. The solicitation calls out services supporting the exchange of data between various FAA systems and facilities. Responses are due on July 10, 2014.

The contract would support the transfer of data products to and from the following networks and systems:

  • National Airspace Data Interchange Network (NADIN)
  • Tower Data Link Services (TDLS)
  • Traffic Flow Management System (TFMS)
  • Advanced Technologies and Oceanic Procedures (ATOP)
  •  Dynamic Oceanic Tracking System (DOTS)
  • Meteorological Data Collection and Reporting System (MDCRS)

The prospective vendor would be required to comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices, International Air Transport Association (IATA) Addressing Standards, FAA Procedures, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requirements as needed.

Vendors with products that can address secure messaging services, data protection, data management and data integration requirements should have this on their radar. The FAA sends and receives over 190,000 messages between sites in Atlanta and Salt Lake City on a daily basis, using the Common Message Handling Protocol (CMHP) for the NADIN, ATOP, DOTS and MDCRS systems. The FAA also utilizes The Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) and IBM-MQ, a messaging middleware, for accelerating data across multiple platforms.

As the FAA continues to transform the National Airspace System (NAS) and its’ Air Traffic Organization (ATO) through its NextGen initiative, vendors can expect to see an increase in solicitations that call out data-centric requirements. The incumbent contractor is Aeronautical Radio, Incorporated (ARINC) in Annapolis, MD, but the earlier that vendors get involved in the solicitation process, the higher the chances they have of helping shape requirements and securing this opportunity. 

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