FAA Awards DUATS Flight Service Contracts


The FAA awarded contracts this week for its DUATS II program to CSC DUATS and Lockheed Martin, dropping longtime provider DTC DUATfrom the online pilot briefing/flight planning service. Both CSC and DTC had provided the service for the last 26 years. CSC won a 5-year contract along with Lockheed Martin, which runs the Flight Services program for the FAA. The DUATS program has provided fee-free online access to pilots and, evolving with technology over the years, now is mostly used on cellphones and tablets via mobile apps as well as commercially available flight planning and EFB apps.

The new contracts include one base year and four option years with values of $3.2 million for Lockheed Martin and nearly $21 million for CSC. The FAA in October opened bids among the three companies as the CSC and DTC contracts were due to expire in March. DUATS has since operated on an interim basis. The agency also said in October it plans to award a new Flight Services contract during its 2017 fiscal year that will apparently include the entire DUATS program, although it’s not clear how that would affect the new contracts.

In an email response to AVweb, DTC said Thursday the FAA has extended the company’s current contract for 60 days so its users can switch to other services. “At this point we don’t know if we will be running the service for users during that entire time period, or if the last portion of that time will only be to keep our systems running so that we can respond to Search and Rescue requests or detailed event reconstruction requests from the FAA to investigate possible accidents,” DTC stated. “Once we have specific information from the FAA, DTC will post an announcement on our DUAT web page so that pilots can be informed.” DTC has had 312,000 pilot users during its years in the program and 80,000 users monthly. DTC is investigating our options with regard to the DUATS II contract, but does not hold out high hopes that any changes will occur, since the FAA made the decision early on to include Lockheed-Martin in this procurement,” the company said.