Harris Corp. announced that it has completed the installation and check out of all the equipment and services required for the transition of 24 major hubs to the new FAA Telecommunications Infrastructure (FTI) network. The transition moves an important portion of voice communication, flight data and weather information to the safest and most secure network operating within the civil sector of the US government. Harris will continue to transition the remaining 137 legacy network hubs to the more cost-effective FTI network over the next 18 months.

“The conversion of these major hubs from the legacy network to FTI will help the FAA more rapidly achieve its safety, security and cost-saving goals for the program,” said John O’Sullivan, FTI program vice president for the Harris Government Communications Systems Division. “We specifically targeted some of the largest hubs for upgrading this quarter and will continue to convert other sites—many of which are located at major FAA locations—as we complete the transition to the more modern, more efficient FTI network. These network hubs are located near major metropolitan areas such as Seattle, Atlanta, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Denver and Washington DC.”

The FAA has already issued disconnect orders for 14 of the 24 legacy network hub sites and is positioned to issue orders for the remaining 10 sites in accordance to its goal for the current year. Legacy network hubs carry circuits that support 90 percent of the FAA facilities to be upgraded through the FTI program. Targeting the replacement of these network hubs will accelerate the conversion of the more costly legacy circuits to FTI, generating millions of dollars in savings to the FAA. The FTI network also features enhanced safety and security, providing intrusion detection and a security feed directly to the FAA security center for seamless security threat assessment.

During the 15-year FTI program, Harris is upgrading and improving telecommunications and operations functions at more than 4400 FAA facilities nationwide, providing the FAA with a safer, more efficient network that is expected to save hundreds of millions of dollars in operating costs over the life of the program. FTI equipment has now been installed and accepted at more than 1650 FAA facilities and more than 7000 operational services have been accepted and are in service nationwide. Harris remains committed to completing the work associated with all major nodes by December 2007.

Harris is leading a team of top telecommunications companies consisting of AT&T, BellSouth Corp., Qwest Communications International, Sprint, Verizon Communications and Raytheon Technical Services. The team is consolidating the services carried on FAA legacy networks including the Leased Interfacility National Airspace System (LINCS), the Data Multiplexing Network, the Bandwidth Manager and the National Aviation Data Interchange Network into an integrated telecommunications infrastructure. Requirements include replacing more than 20,000 circuits, upgrading switching and routing services, improving network monitoring and control, implementing a state-of-the-art security system and providing network engineering services.