Martin (NYSE: LMT), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) and a consortium of industry partners have opened the Florida NextGen Test Bed, a laboratory where new and emerging Next Generation Air Transportation (NextGen) concepts and technologies can be demonstrated and validated. The FAA's NextGen initiative is designed to improve travel through an integrated, adaptable air transportation system, enabling aircraft to adjust to factors such as weather, traffic congestion, flight patterns and security issues.
The NextGen Test Bed, located at Daytona Beach International Airport (DBIA), was established by the Integrated Airport Initiative (IAI), comprised of aviation industry leaders who wanted to share their expertise to advance NextGen. Lockheed Martin and ERAU created the IAI in 2006. Today, its membership has grown to 15 partners, including DBIA, Barco, Boeing, CSC, ENSCO, Frequentis, GE, Harris, Mosaic ATM, NATS, Sensis and Volpe.
"The NextGen Test Bed enables real world validation of concepts that will enhance safety, capacity, efficiency and security at airports nationwide," said Sandy Samuel, vice president of Lockheed Martin's Transportation Solutions. "Lockheed Martin is proud to support the FAA in transforming our national airspace, and making travel easier than ever before."
As the prime contractor for the FAA's En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) program, Lockheed Martin is building and deploying the platform for NextGen air traffic control initiatives that will enable the FAA to transition to future concepts and functions. ERAM is a replacement for the FAA automation systems and infrastructure used by controllers to manage airspace above 10,000 feet. It will process more than double the number of flight plans and utilize nearly triple the number of surveillance sources used by the current system.
Lockheed Martin is a member of the NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC), which is working with the FAA to develop a common understanding of priorities for NextGen capabilities and implementation constraints. Lockheed Martin will host the NAC's next public meeting at ERAU on Feb. 2.
"Lockheed Martin's leadership in helping develop the Test Bed has been very valuable," said Christina Frederick-Recascino, executive vice president for academics and research at ERAU. "From the beginning Lockheed and Embry-Riddle have worked together to make this facility a success."
Lockheed Martin's Transportation Solutions is part of the corporation's Information Systems & Global Solutions-Civil business. IS&GS-Civil is responsible for a wide array of information technology systems and services in areas such as energy, health care, transportation, information and cyber security, citizen protection and space exploration.