...As Lockheed's FSS Transition Continues
Meanwhile, the effort from within the FAA to derail the Lockheed bid remains in the hands of the FAA's Office of Dispute Resolution for Acquisition (ODRA). The FAA's Air Traffic Organization (ATO), which now runs the FSS system, submitted a bid in conjunction with Harris Corp. In what may be an unprecedented move, the ATO filed a protest over the award of the contract to Lockheed Martin, citing irregularities and incomplete work in the assessment process. The ATO's attorney, Cyrus Phillips, told AVweb he expected a decision on the challenge before now and he's unsure when it will be issued. In the meantime, Lockheed continues to carry out its transition program and Phillips is concerned staffing problems are on the horizon. Regardless of who takes over the system, Phillips said there will be about 1,000 fewer jobs available. Those likely to lose their jobs are undoubtedly already looking for alternatives and will soon start to quit their FSS positions as they find other work. But Phillips said the full workforce is needed now and in the early part of the Lockheed Martin contract because it will take time to implement all the new systems.