Lockheed Martin Tuesday began operation of the Federal Aviation Administration’s 58 Automated Flight Service Stations (AFSS) in the contiguous US, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The action follows an eight-month phase-in period that began February 1, when Lockheed Martin was awarded the $1.7 billion public-private outsourcing contract. Since that time more than 1,750 former government employees have joined the company, ensuring a smooth transition to the new contract arrangement.
Linda Gooden, President of Lockheed Martin Information Technology, said, “The past eight months have been especially busy as we prepared for this important day, and I am pleased to announce that we are ready. We welcome the opportunity to serve the FAA and the nation’s aviation public in this capacity for many years.”
More than 600,000 general aviation pilots rely on AFSS specialists for weather briefings, updates on closings or changes at airport facilities, and filing flight plans. The specialists also initiate aircraft search and rescue. Unlike commercial pilots who fly in airspace controlled by FAA air traffic controllers, general aviation pilots usually fly in uncontrolled airspace and utilize Flight Services to help ensure their safety of flight.