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Modification to a Previous Presolicitation Notice - Aeronautical Communications Services (ACS) - Extension to 8/7/2014

July 10, 2014

Notice Type: Modification to a Previous Presolicitation Notice

Posted Date: 09-JUL-14

Office Address: Department of Transportation; Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); Headquarters; FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, AAQ-320 WA - FAA (Washington, DC)

Subject: Aeronautical Communications Services (ACS) - Extension to 8/7/2014

Classification Code: D - Information technology services, including telecommunications services

Solicitation Number: 16678

Contact: Benette Chen,, Phone: 202-267-8420 [Click here to email Benette Chen]

Description: Department of Transportation

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)


**********Amendment 1:

The market survey response date has been extended to August 7, 2014 so we can respond to all of the vendors' questions, and post our responses to these questions.

Please submit any questions by August 1, 2014.

**********Original Market Survey:

1. Introduction

The purpose of this Market Survey/Request for Information (RFI) is to obtain industry feedback on capabilities within the commercial marketplace to provide services similar to those currently obtained by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) under the Aeronautical Communications Services (ACS) contract.

This public announcement is being issued in accordance with the FAA Acquisition Management System (AMS) Section Interested parties are advised that:

*-- This is not a Screening Information Request (SIR) or Request for Proposals;

*-- The FAA is not seeking or accepting unsolicited proposals;

*-- The FAA will not pay for any information received or costs incurred in preparing the response to the market survey; and

*-- Any costs associated with the market survey/RFI response submittals are solely at the interested party--'s expense.

2. Background

The existing ACS contract supports the exchange of the following data products between FAA facilities/systems, Airlines, International Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs), and third parties:

*-- National Airspace Data Interchange Network (NADIN) data products distribution -- Allows airlines and third parties to file Flight Plans and other messaging traffic to the Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunications Network (AFTN) via encapsulation over the International Air Transport Association (IATA) network.

*-- Tower Data Link Services (TDLS) data products distribution -- Delivers Pre-Departure Clearances to airlines and third parties and return acknowledgement from centralized TDLS processing.

*-- Traffic Flow Management System (TFMS) data products distribution -- Allows the FAA to send advisory messages (e.g. Ground Delays, Flow Control) to airlines, and receive flight information from airlines using Type-B IATA messaging.

*-- Advanced Technologies and Oceanic Procedures (ATOP) distribution -- Supports dissemination of oceanic messages over the IATA network.

*-- Dynamic Oceanic Tracking System (DOTS) data product distribution -- Allows the FAA to exchange Track Generation and Track Advisory data with airlines and third party providers from DOTS centers at Anchorage and Oakland using Type-B IATA messaging.

*-- Meteorological Data Collection and Reporting System (MDCRS) data product distribution -- Supports the downloading of meteorological observations from participating airlines using the Aircraft Communication Addressing Reporting System (ACARS), reformatting the data into BUF format suitable for processing by the National Weather Service, and forwarding the data to the FAA.

ACS services must comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommendation Practices, International Air Transport Association (IATA) Addressing Standards, FAA Procedures and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requirements as applicable. The defined performance requirements for ACS services are a minimum availability of 99.7% and restoration of service outages within 4 hours.

The ACS contractor performs any communications protocol translations that may be needed to support the exchange of these messages. In addition, the ACS contractor is responsible for program management, engineering, solution development, testing, implementation, and service monitoring in relation to the exchange of the data products listed above.

The ACS contract was awarded in 2010 and the period of performance runs through March 31, 2015. The FAA--'s intent is to conduct a competitive procurement to award a follow-on contract prior to the expiration of the ACS contract that will address a similar scope of services, but with the potential for some differences as described in the next section.

3. Message Volume

Please see attachment, ACS - Message Volume Table.

4. Potential Evolution of the FAA Requirements for Aeronautical Communications Services

To date, distribution of the data products listed in the preceding section has been heavily dependent upon the FAA--'s NADIN Packet-Switched Network (PSN) that utilizes the X.25 protocol. However, NADIN, TDLS, and TFMS are already supporting IP transport and ATOP, DOTS, and MDCRS are planned to transition to IP by the end of calendar year 2014.

Another significant change under consideration is for the ACS follow-on contractor to utilize the FAA--'s System-Wide Information Management (SWIM) enterprise messaging infrastructure that implements JavaTM Messaging Services (JMS) and Web Services. Under this approach, the ACS follow-on contractor would be a subscriber of SWIM data products that would be available through the NAS Enterprise Security Gateway (NESG).

With respect to the pricing structure, the FAA is considering a change to pricing on a per-data product or per-service basis rather than connection-based pricing that supports all products as a whole. This would provide granularity in the pricing so that the FAA will have visibility into the impact of adding or discontinuing specific products/services. For example, ATOP messages may be discontinued as a service obtained under the ACS follow-on if it can be obtained through the Aeronautical Mobile Communications Service (AMCS) contract.

5. Questions/Requests for Information

a) Please describe your company/organization--'s ability to provide the services being considered for the scope of the ACS follow-on contract.

b) Please provide an assessment of the pros and cons to pricing on a per-data product/service basis rather than a per-connection basis that supports all products as a whole.

c) Please describe how leveraging SWIM enterprise messaging services could influence the structuring of the ACS follow-on contract in terms of requirements, pricing, etc.

d) Are there any strategies that the FAA could employ to minimize the operational and financial impacts of transitioning from the existing ACS contract

e) How could a Service Level Agreement be structured to incentivize the Contractor--'s delivery of services that meet the FAA--'s requirements

f) Are there other service delivery models that the FAA should consider that would provide the current set of data products/services to stakeholders in a more cost-effective manner with no degradation in performance For example, could the cost of distributing some message products be recovered by the subscribers rather than being subsidized by the FAA

g) Please identify any data products/services that could be added to the scope of the ACS follow-on contract to achieve economies of scale or other efficiency gains. Please indicate whether you would use any proprietary technology, software, tools, etc. to meet this requirement.

h) Please complete the attached Business Declaration Form. The response should be submitted using the following naming convention:

ACS Business Declaration Form- [insert your company name].pdf

i) If applicable, please submit a copy of the company--'s SBA 8(a) certification letter. The FAA reserves the right to review and verify each offeror--'s program eligibility.

j) Please state whether these services can be found on the GSA schedule. If yes, please provide the GSA schedule number.

6. Incumbent Contractor

The ACS prime contractor is ARINC located in Annapolis, Maryland. The current contract is DTFAWA-10-C-00047.

7. North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code

The North American Industry Classification System Code (NAICS) for this procurement is 517919, Other Telecommunications.

8. Responses to the Market Survey/RFI

Parties should submit their responses to the questions contained within this Market Survey/RFI by July 10, 2014, 4:00 pm EDT. The FAA will not provide feedback on any of the submitted materials. In addition, responses to the Market Survey/RFI will not be viewed by the FAA as a commitment by the respondents to submit a proposal for the ACS follow-on contract.

If any of the information submitted is considered to be proprietary, the submitter is responsible for marking it accordingly. Notwithstanding, the Government does not intend to release or distribute any of the information contained in the Market Survey/RFI responses.

No bidder--'s conference or pre-proposal conference is planned at this time.

9. Market Survey / RFI Response Submission Instructions

Market Survey/RFI responses must be submitted via electronic mail (e-mail) to Benette Chen ( with '--ACS MARKET SURVEY RESPONSE--' in the subject line. Files must be compatible with MS Office 2010 or be in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. No other form of submission will be accepted. Submissions must include the names and titles of company points-of-contact, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, fax numbers, and mailing addresses.

Submissions are due by 4:00 pm EDT on July 10, 2014.

Please direct any inquiries regarding this matter to the FAA Contracting Officer, Benette Chen, via e-mail at or telephone at (202) 267-8420.


1. ACS -- Message Volume Table

2. Business Declaration Form

(End of Announcement)

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