Harris’ FAA Telecommunications Infrastructure (FTI) connects the entire United States air traffic network, a system that spans across 4,400 facilities. It is the constantly evolving telecommunications backbone for our National Airspace System (NAS) that enables air traffic controllers, pilots and other systems operators to communicate via voice, data and video.

Together, Harris and FAA have completed over 100,000 enhancements to the FTI network.

This milestone signifies a decades-long partnership between the two organizations dedicated to delivering new, reliable and mission critical services, so the system can continue to evolve technically, safely and efficiently. Service enhancements, also known as maintenance requests, are used to add additional telecommunications services to the system to extend or improve performance. The volume of service requests has noticeably increased as more safety-critical applications for newer technologies are required, like satellite services.

Since 2004, process improvements on FTI have evolved with the NAS. They now serve as a gateway to eliminate risks and effectively track all upgrades to the FTI network. Telecommunications service impact analysis is conducted for each maintenance request to effectively and efficiently coordinate these changes without disruption of air traffic operations. This best-in-class quality service initiative provides real-time situational awareness to operations managers while system upgrades are being made and documents the resultant system configuration changes for overall system control.

“Continuous evolution is a key to success when managing large-scale infrastructure,” said Kelle Wendling, Vice President and General Manager, Harris Mission Networks. “Incremental changes in FTI over time ensured that new technologies, processes and approaches were integrated into the National Airspace System in the safest manner possible while delivering significant benefits to the users of a system that reaches across the United States and its territories. This graceful evolution strikes a balance between innovation, safety, and security to deliver the best possible network built to meet the unique needs of traffic for years to come.”

With today’s process improvements to the NAS, new technologies are evaluated and safely added to operations. The ability to track the addition of individual services to completion is streamlined to prevent critical disruptions to air traffic services. Harris continues to look ahead by refining processes for even more effective service for our telecommunications network. This ensures the aviation infrastructure of tomorrow is ready to handle the increasing demands from users and the flying public.