Lockheed unit signs with New Zealand

Country's air traffic control system to be modernized

Aerospace industry

May 09, 2000|By Amanda J. Crawford | By Amanda J. Crawford,SUN STAFF

A unit of Lockheed Martin Corp. signed a 10-year partnership agreement yesterday with Airways New Zealand to modernize the country's air traffic control system and pursue air management contracts in other regions.

Lockheed Martin Air Traffic Management, the Rockville-based provider of air traffic control systems, will replace the New Zealand air traffic control system, including three area control centers and 17 tower systems, with its SkyLine technology.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Together Lockheed and Airways New Zealand, the government-owned corporation that provides the country's air traffic control, will pursue contracts in other regions, particularly the Asia-Pacific market.

"We will provide the technological know-how and they will provide the operational intelligence," said Judy Gan, director of communications for the Lockheed unit.

"Together we can do air traffic management which is broader than what each of us could address individually."

Gan said the company expects only four to six alliances to be providing global air traffic control 10 years from now.

The partnership is the company's first step in anticipation of that trend.

"Right now, every country has its own operational service," Gan said.

But "the technology is there to transcend geographical boundaries and provide more efficient air traffic control service to countries and regions."

The partnership agreement comes after a previously announced alliance between the two companies in September to bid to replace the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's oceanic system. In addition to that project, the partnership is also working to strike an agreement with a coalition of African nations to provide upper airspace management there, Gan said.

The agreement will also establish a software development and operational testing center in Christchurch, New Zealand, where the companies will work together to refine Lockheed's SkyLine software.

Shares of Lockheed Martin Corp. lost 12.5 cents to close at $26.0625 yesterday.

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