...FAA On "He Said, She Said"...

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The official line from the FAA is that nothing has changed on the timing of any privatization decision. FAA spokesman William Shumann told AVweb that the selection will take place sometime between December and March. Also, at Senate hearings last week, Department of Transportation Inspector General Ken Mead said the determination will be made "by March 2005." He also said privatization won't be considered unless the government can save at least $478 million over five years by doing so. (Of course, there may be different views on the definition of "$478 million saved.") In the meantime, bidders will be busy telling the FAA how they'd run a modernized FSS system while saving all that money. Shumann said there are at least four companies interested in taking over the FSS: Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and Computer Sciences Corporation. The existing FSS organization, teamed with Harris Corp., is also bidding. By May 3, they must submit a "screening request for information," which Shumann said is a general outline of their proposal. August is the deadline for technical proposals and by September all the financial projections must be in.