FAA begins air traffic system

The Federal Aviation Administration has accepted the initial hardware and software for a new air traffic management system that will improve separation of aircraft flying over U.S. oceanic airspace, FAA said.

Lockheed Martin Corp. is developing Advanced Technologies and Oceanic Procedures system to replace FAA's existing systems and procedures.

ATOP will let controllers reduce the space between airborne aircraft while preserving passenger safety and, in the process, improve fuel efficiency and costs, the company said.

ATOP will increase international air travel capacity and automate the manual processes now used, a Lockheed Martin spokeswoman said. The system, which FAA accepted July 31, will integrate flight data processing, detect conflicts between aircraft and provide data link and surveillance capabilities.

FAA expects to begin using the system next June, said Charlie Keegan, FAA's associate administrator for research and acquisitions. Full system operation is slated for 2005.


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