Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] have formed a strategic alliance to promote advancement of the future U.S. air transportation system.
Aviation forecasts predict a two- to three-fold increase in air traffic by 2025. The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) next-generation air transportation system is critical to the continued growth of aviation and the U.S. economy. Boeing and Lockheed Martin officials said that, by working together, the companies can leverage their expertise in air traffic management and aircraft-centric solutions to implement bold changes and help the U.S. government overcome the challenges that lie ahead in transforming the current air traffic control system.
"Boeing and Lockheed Martin have invested in air traffic management for decades and will bring together world-class capabilities to accelerate solutions for a growing air traffic capacity problem," said Kevin Brown, Boeing Phantom Works vice president and general manager of Advanced Air Traffic Management. "For efficient air traffic management, the industry has embraced the need for integrating airborne and ground systems seamlessly within a unified operational concept. We intend to work together with the FAA to make that happen."
"To help increase the capacity of our National Airspace System by three fold over the next two decades, industry needs to look from the ground to the sky for innovation," said Judy Marks, president of Lockheed Martin Transportation and Security Solutions. "With Lockheed Martin's 50-year history automating air traffic management and Boeing's legacy designing and building aircraft, together we'll be able to offer a broad perspective. We believe that you can't solve the whole problem unless you see the whole picture."
The collaboration combines Lockheed Martin's air traffic management experience in the domains of en route, oceanic, terminal, and airport surface operations with Boeing's strengths in aircraft systems, avionics, aviation operations, and airspace simulation and modeling.
Initially, the two companies will focus on developments in three major areas:
Networked information sharing -- Both Boeing and Lockheed Martin will bring together their separate work on concepts and developments to establish a secure information grid that will quickly distribute information to all authorized stakeholders and users in the National Airspace System. These networked information sharing efforts demonstrate how information can be integrated across FAA domains and with national security and defense agencies, and support a key priority of the FAA's next-generation system.
Advanced operational concepts -- The two companies will expand on current trials of advanced operational concepts that deliver significant capacity, efficiency, and environmental benefits to airlines and air navigation service providers. These trials will link Lockheed Martin automation systems with the flight management systems of any aircraft to provide precise and predictable routing concepts that save fuel, reduce emissions, and allow air traffic controllers to be more strategic.
Global interoperability -- Boeing and Lockheed Martin will collaborate on the FAA's global interoperability initiatives to ensure seamless operations between the United States and foreign airspace. Because of aviation's global scale, internationally interoperable systems and procedures are critical to any successful air traffic system development.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs more than 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.