Federal Aviation Administration Technical Support Services Contract IV - Nationwide
Ensuring Aviation Safety and Uninterrupted Air Traffic
The mission of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is to provide the safest, most efficient aviation system in the world. In line with this mission, the FAA provides the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS)—the largest, busiest, most complex, and technologically advanced aviation operation in the world—with the infrastructure to support all air operations within the United States and certain oceanic areas. This responsibility ranges from air traffic control, system security, and safety to international coordination.
The FAA must meet its mission 24/7/365, with excellence unsurpassed in any other undertaking. In August 2012, the FAA awarded the Technical Support Services Contract (T4) to Parsons. The contract, with a 4-year base period and two 3-year options, is the fourth issued by the FAA in support of its mission and the second consecutive contract awarded to Parsons. These contracts encompass professional engineering, construction, equipment installation, drafting, and other technical services. Work under T4 is being executed throughout the NAS, which encompasses the United States and its territories and possessions. Parsons’ win of this contract highlights our capabilities, including our ability to self-perform work and generate real-time financial and schedule information. Parsons’ specific responsibilities include:
- Site surveys and selection
- Geospatial surveys
- Fire/life safety
- Equipment installation/removal/testing
- Contract surveillance and oversight
As the prime T4 contractor, Parsons is implementing key projects to modernize the NAS and support the FAA’s strategic transformation to the Next Generation Air Transportation System. These projects, which can include reimbursable projects funded by airport owners and other federal agencies, will be performed by more than 600 employees. Projects include:
- Major FAA facilities upgrades
- Major new construction
- Facility demolition/land restoration
- Electronics design/installation
- Construction project oversight
- Navigational aid (NAVAID) design/installation
Noteworthy projects under T4 include the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) Aeronautical Surveying Program, the Aviation Weather Camera Program, and the Fuel Storage Tank (FST) Upgrades Program.
Wide Area Augmentation System Aeronautical Surveying Program
This program advances the Next Generation Air Transportation System by introducing high-precision, satellite-based aircraft approach procedures. Using a highly qualified network of geospatial and surveying firms, Parsons has helped the FAA meet its flight plan goal to publish 500 WAAS approach procedures every year.
A typical airport survey involves:
- Coordinating with an airport’s management, operations, and air traffic personnel
- Establishing a large ground control network
- Surveying all runways for length, width, centerline profile, ends, and thresholds
- Surveying, documenting, and analyzing on- and off-airport obstructions to an aircraft approach path
- Acquiring and analyzing aerial photographs for quality assurance
- Providing locations for key NAVAIDs and essential airport structures
Parsons’ big-picture, nationwide approach to the WAAS program delivers many benefits to the FAA, including cost savings and large-volume capability. Over the life of the program, our expertise has saved the customer an estimated $25 million.
Weather camera - Cape Fanshaw, Alaska
Aviation Weather Camera Program
To improve safety and efficiency, this program provides weather visibility information through near-real-time camera images to aviation users. Weather images of airports and strategic en-route locations supply pilots and flight service station specialists with information essential for enhanced situational awareness, preflight planning, and en-route weather briefings. Images are updated every 10 minutes and are available through a user-friendly, web-enabled application on a public website.
Over the past 4 years, Parsons has installed an average of 20 to 24 weather camera systems annually all over Alaska. The FAA plans to continue installing weather cameras, with more than 25 sites currently pending installation.
These safety-enhancing aviation cameras are often in remote sites with no commercial power or communications, presenting formidable challenges to operations. One example is the camera system installed on New Eddystone Island in Misty Fjords, about 30 miles east-northeast of Ketchikan and 300 miles southeast of Juneau. True to its name, Misty Fjords is plagued by mist, fog, clouds, and poor visibility. The vast area is also inaccessible to land vehicles, and the water is navigable only by smaller vessels. To work there, Parsons rented a marine support vessel that anchored in nearby Punchbowl Cove. The installation team lived aboard the support vessel for the duration of the job, traveling to and from the job site using a 30-ft landing craft. Parsons personnel had prefabricated the support structure and shipped it to the support vessel before departing.
Lack of commercial power or communications in many locations requires alternative means for providing power and transmitting camera images. To ensure self-sufficiency, Parsons may install solar- or wind-power generators and satellite communications equipment.
Installing underground piping and tanks in fuel tank field
Fuel Storage Tank Upgrades Program
To maintain the operational readiness of the Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC) across the United States and its territories, the FAA requires services to upgrade the fuel storage systems at multiple ARTCCs. These upgrades also must meet FST regulatory compliance requirements and best system management practices.
Parsons’ deliverables include:
- Modifying national baseline design drawings and project plan
- Installing temporary fuel systems
- Upgrading underground storage tanks
- Replacing fuel conveyance piping
- Upgrading FST monitoring systems
- Replacing fuel day tanks
- Preparing as-built drawings
Almost-completed new piping manifolds for fuel system
At each ARTCC, Parsons, its subcontractors, and the FAA perform a thorough site survey. The survey team, which integrates multiple engineering disciplines, collects site-specific information. Using this information, Parsons modifies baseline design drawings, develops specifications, and creates a project implementation plan. Incorporating all necessary disciplines into the site survey cuts design, drafting, and planning times by days or even weeks.
Due to the large quantity and geographic diversity of sites, Parsons uses a multiple-award task order contract (MATOC) model to manage subcontractors for this program. The MATOC provides the flexibility and responsiveness needed to meet the FAA’s schedule requirements. This model also allows Parsons to increase the number of completed FST upgrades and to maintain a significant emergency capability.
Parsons' innovative solutions for paperwork reduction, compliance assurance, and other techniques enables the entire project team to perform work that is sustainable, efficient, and accurate, including:
- T4-Parsons data system, based on SharePoint 2010, will incorporate a computerized database to create a government systems interface, procurement applications, safety and quality incident tracking, project information management systems, and specialized reporting.
- T4 thin-client approach to computing will use tablets, mobile devices, and netbooks to let field staff connect any time to necessary resources. This technology gives the T4 remote workforce improved access to data, increased efficiency, and a shortened project schedule through real-time sharing of shop drawings, submittals, progress reporting, and images of field conditions.
- Student internship program will bring on junior staff, introduce potential new personnel to the program, and open up job opportunities that will allow T4 to grow and constantly refresh its workforce.
- Innovation fund reinvests a portion of Parsons’ award fee to encourage continuous learning and support innovation throughout the program.
Since 2001, Parsons has provided steady support to the FAA, successfully executing more than 3,000 work releases and supporting projects at more than 4,000 geographically dispersed FAA facilities. Parsons offers a complete and integrated approach that minimizes risk, improves efficiency, and maximizes effectiveness by using state-of-the-art technologies, and we look forward to working with the FAA for many years to come.