FAA, Boeing File Flight Plans

FAA, Boeing File Flight Plans

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Boeing Co. each unveiled plans June 6 to improve the U.S. air traffic control system and cut down on delays that have afflicted commercial airlines.

The FAA pulled together programs already planned or under way. The 10-year, $11.5 billion Operational Evolution Plan revolves around "credible initiatives" that focus on solving problems, said FAA Deputy Administrator Monte Belger.

The agency has been consulting with Seattle-based Boeing as the company developed its proposal for overhauling the air traffic control system. The FAA plans to slowly evolve from a radar-based system to a satellite-based one.

Boeing's plan also centers on satellite-based systems, but company officials described it as more revolutionary, incorporating more levels of communication between airplanes, controllers and satellites.

The FAA plan also proposes building 15 new runways at some of the nation's busiest airports. Improving weather information is another high priority.

The Boeing plan and the FAA plan are complementary, but Belger would not elaborate on what Boeing's specific role might be under the FAA plan.

Lockheed Martin Corp. of Bethesda, Md., and the Raytheon Co. of Lexington, Mass., have dominated FAA contracts for air traffic control. Lockheed Martin recently won a $125 million contract to develop and field the En Route Communications Gate.

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