Two big players form alliance for air traffic management

Harris Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp., already dominant players in the global air traffic management industry, have entered an agreement to pursue opportunities together in the $5 billion global market for airspace management solutions.

Don Antonucci, president of Lockheed Martin Air Traffic Management, and Bob Henry, president of Harris Government Communications Systems Division, each used a gold pen Nov. 6 to sign the agreement during a press conference at the 47th annual Air Traffic Control Association meeting.

Lockheed Martin of Bethesda, Md., will lead opportunities related to air traffic management automation, navigation and traffic flow management, while Harris of Melbourne, Fla., will take the lead in projects involving communications and weather.

The two companies had discussed setting up a formal alliance in previous years, Antonucci said, but something always came up to interrupt the dialogue. Most recently it was the competition for the Federal Aviation Administration's Telecommunications Infrastructure contract. The companies competed against each other for the business for two years. Harris won the contract in July, and Lockheed Martin is now a subcontractor.

It took the two companies just 75 days to work out the details of the agreement, Henry said, including review by all the corporate lawyers.

The alliance does not involve any commitment of money or people, Antonucci and Henry said, but the companies will meet quarterly to discuss opportunities. Having the agreement in place also allows the companies to respond more quickly to customers' requirements, and lets each invest research and development dollars in its own areas of core competence, Antonucci and Henry said.

Lockheed Martin's revenue in fiscal 2001 was $24 billion, and the company has 125,000 employees. Harris Corp. employs 9,700 people worldwide, and recorded revenue of $1.9 billion.

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