Harris buys Canadian air traffic control company

Acquisition will strengthen company's work on FAA NextGen contract

Harris Corp. will acquire the Air Traffic Control unit of SolaCom Technologies Inc., a purchase company officials say will strengthen its work on the Federal Aviation Administration’s Next Generation Air Transportation System contract.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not released.

The SolaCom ATC acquisition will give Harris the ability to address all segments of the air traffic control voice/data systems market and will further position the company to support the FAA NextGen contract, company officials said.

Harris is the prime contractor on the $3.5 billion, 15-year FAA Telecommunications Infrastructure (FTI) program, which was awarded to the Melbourne, Fla., company in 2002.

Under the award, Harris is upgrading and improving telecommunications and operations functions at more than 4,000 FAA facilities nationwide with a secure, efficient network, and cost-effective telecommunication and managed network services, the officials said.

SolaCom’s ATC unit has approximately 50 employees who provide voice and data communication systems and solutions for air traffic facilities and radio communications between aircraft in flight and air traffic controllers.

The business has more than 200 customers internationally, including NASA, the U.S. Air Force, North American Aerospace Defense Command and the British Ministry of Defense.

Acquiring the ATC business unit from the privately held company in Gatineau, Quebec, will provide our collective domestic and international customers with highly reliable air traffic control products and services that will lead to a more reliable global network of air traffic control systems, said John O’Sullivan, vice president of Mission Critical Networks at Harris.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, and Harris expects to complete the acquisition of SolaCom’s ATC business by the end of June, the officials said.

Harris ranks No. 13 on Washington Technology’s 2009 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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