April 01, 2013
Credit: Paul Sadler/ Airservices Australia
If there is one lesson that aerospace companies should take away from the latest battles over U.S. budget cuts, it is that a global mix of business is more crucial than ever.
Syracuse, N.Y.-based Saab Sensis is certainly aware of this. While the company is aiming to take on more major U.S. air traffic management (ATM) projects, it is also shielding itself from federal budget uncertainties through its increasing presence in overseas markets.
Saab Sensis will be among those bidding for the FAA's tower automation contract, which is one of the keys to modernizing the ATM system. The company is involved in many other projects related to surveillance, airport operations and surface management, and is deploying its systems in the U.S. and all over the world.
The Saab group bought Sensis Corp. in 2011 in order to gain a larger foothold in the ATM industry. The Sensis facility in Syracuse has become the headquarters for Saab's ATM operation, which also includes European ATM company HITT after its purchase by Saab was completed in December.
Bringing HITT into the fold has further expanded Saab Sensis's international reach in the ATM market. And because HITT and Sensis will be cooperating closely on projects instead of competing, they will help each other in regions where one is stronger.
Saab Sensis CEO Marc Viggiano says China is a prime example. HITT “has a really good footprint in China, where we've struggled to get penetration” for airport surface management systems, he says. India and Latin America are other markets where HITT has greater presence.
“HITT remains a Dutch company, separate from the U.S. company formerly known as Sensis, but all parts of the ATM business within Saab are moving toward operating in the ATM marketplace as one entity in the near future,” says Viggiano.