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New ATC System To Rely On AT&T Cell Towers 109

longacre writes "The FAA has awarded the long-anticipated first contract for development of its NextGen air traffic control system: a $1.8 billion deal with ITT Corporation, beating out bids from aerospace heavyweights such as Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. ITT's design will make use of hundreds of specially modified AT&T cellular phone towers which, in addition to their normal communications duties, will relay an aircraft's position to air traffic controllers and other aircraft in real time. The initial contract is only enough to wire and test the so-called ADS-B system in the Philadelphia area and around the Gulf of Mexico — hooking up the rest of the country will take an estimated 20 years and $20 billion."

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang