The Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday it awarded three contracts for its new air traffic control system worth a total of up to $4.4 billion.
Under the contracts, Boeing Co., General Dynamics Corp. and ITT Corp. will perform large-scale demonstrations to see how procedures and technologies of the new system -- called Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen -- can be incorporated into the current air traffic system.
The contracts will be carried out over a 10-year period.
NextGen, which features a satellite-based system to track planes, will replace the current radar-based air traffic control system, which relies on World War II-era technology.
The three companies will also develop and rollout new weather tracking services. NextGen weather imaging will allow pilots and controllers to see bad weather at different altitudes.