Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin Corp. has been awarded a $344-million contract by the Federal Aviation Administration to make and deploy a data system for airports.
The system will provide flight tracking and surface management tools for air traffic control towers. The contract has a five-year base with seven one-year options.
Lockheed Martin will develop the system with principal subcontractor Saab Sensis. The new system will work by integrating digital flight plans with surface surveillance information to create accurate, real-time predictive tools. It will share data among controllers, pilots and airports so they can better stage arrivals and departures, and manage traffic flow.
Lockheed expects that one feature of the system will improve gate departure efficiency the airlines and will significantly reduce or eliminate lines of airplanes waiting for departure on a runway.