While Sensis and HITT are beginning to merge their products, both companies will continue to support their existing lines.
Viggiano says customers “can expect to see a best-of-breed product emerge over the next couple of years.” This will be centered on airport applications and incorporate capabilities from the legacy companies.
Combined, Sensis and HITT have ATM products in more than 40 countries and 250 locations, and they are expected to receive more than half of their orders from outside the U.S. in 2013. Even excluding HITT, Sensis is forecast to increase its non-U.S. order share above 30%. The trend is expected to continue next year, Viggiano says, making the company “much more internationally diverse.”
So while the budget cuts that have been forced on the FAA and other U.S. government agencies are worrisome, Saab Sensis should not be too badly hurt by program delays, Viggiano says. “We're fortunate with our mix of contracts.”
In general, the company is performing well financially. While Saab does not release full details for its Sensis subsidiary, it is profitable, and its top and bottom lines grew over the past year, says Viggiano.
Saab has made it clear that it wants to establish a strong presence in the ATM market. “I think you can expect to see that growth continue,” Viggiano says, although he will not reveal whether Saab is planning more acquisitions in the ATM field. He notes that there are still “obvious gaps” in the group's ATM operations.
Despite its growing international scope, Saab Sensis still holds sizable stake in the FAA's modernization efforts.
The company is among those pursuing one of the FAA's next major ATM contracts, which will modernize control tower systems. The tower flight data manager (TFDM) project is intended to introduce electronic flight strips into U.S. towers, as well as other new automation capabilities that could include surface management and collaborative decision making (CDM).
The potential scope of this contract means “you can expect to see all the large system integrators take an interest,” Viggiano says. Saab Sensis intends to lead a bid team, which is also expected to include Nav Canada. The FAA is not yet soliciting bids, although contract award is expected in the first quarter of 2014.