7 FAA Programs Seeing Growth in DME Funding: Part 1

Kevin Shaker_65 x 85by Kevin Shaker, Analyst, Market Intelligence

The Plane Taking OffFederal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues to be a great entry point for the COTS community. In FY15, the president requested roughly $2.9B for FAA FY16 IT operations ($160M more than what was enacted for FY15). The entirety of this IT budget increase will go to Development, Modernization, & Enhancement (DME) funding (money dedicated to investing in new tools and capabilities). While the new numbers aren’t guaranteed, they offer insight into which FAA programs are going to be the focal points in FY16.

Here are 7 programs that will likely experience a substantial increase in DME funding, along with the suggested DME dollar increase, and the primary solutions the programs are in need of:

  1. Data Communications NextGen Support (DataComm) +$85M
    DataComm has the largest increase in DME funding, centering on investments in big data, business intelligence & analytics, data management, information sharing, and network security solutions.
  2. Terminal Automation Modernization and Replacement Program (TAMR-P) +$40M
    Enterprise architecture and application management.
  3. En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) System Enhancements and Tech Refresh +$35M
    Application management, telecommunications, and application security solutions.
  4. NextGen NAS Voice System (NVS) +$27M
    Data management, network management, and network security.
  5. Time Based Flow Management (TBFM) +$18M
    Application management, data management, and network security.
  6. Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) +10M
    GIS, network administration, and security.
  7. Oceanic Automation System: Advanced Technologies and Oceanic Procedures (ATOP) +$10M
    GIS, modeling & simulation, data management, and telecommunications.

Following the request for more DME dollars, the FAA released an RFI at the end of January for the creation of a new IT Integrated Service Center (ISC) which will include a need for helpdesk services and new equipment.

Think of the ISC as a helpdesk solution/center for most of FAA. The RFI lists the need of a host of COTS products, including: incident problem and knowledge management software, self-service portal, LAN networks, servers, switches, electronic messaging system, and more! When you respond to the RFI, make sure to consider customer experience, agile methods, and self-service dashboard capabilities for metric reporting.

Also keep in mind the FAA is interested in understanding how your product/products will enhance the ISCs potential mission as well as cut down on its costs (which at this point should be second nature). The response is due by February 27 (next Friday), which gives you roughly a week for a thoughtful reply.

At the FAA, the time is now to be strategic by getting in touch with the right points of contact concerning the programs with increased funding. It is also time to respond to the ISC RFI so you can get your products baked into its architecture. Reach out to the immixGroup Market Intelligence team to see how we can help identify the right points of contact you’ll be looking for.

P.S. In the next couple of months, keep an eye out for Part II of this blog post where I’ll take a deeper dive into the initiatives of the specific programs that have requested new DME funding.

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