WorldCom nets telecom contract for air traffic control

WorldCom Inc. has been awarded a five-year contract potentially worth $604 million to provide the telecommunications system that air traffic controllers use to manage the nation's air traffic, the Federal Aviation Administration announced Feb. 27.

Under the FAA contract, known as the Leased Interfacility NAS Communications System (LINCS), WorldCom will provide a highly specialized, high-reliability network that enables air traffic controllers to communicate with each other and with pilots.

LINCS is also used to transmit radar, weather and other data used in support of air traffic management. The system connecting roughly 5,000 locations in the United States carries more than 14,000 separate connections.

"The FAA requires a highly reliable telecommunications infrastructure for its critical air traffic control mission," said FAA Administrator Jane Garvey.

The original contract to design and build LINCS was competitively awarded to WorldCom of Clinton, Miss., in March 1992 and is scheduled to expire this March . The FAA and WorldCom structured the follow-on contract, which was awarded yesterday to WorldCom on a sole-source basis.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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