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Data Transformation Corporation issued the press release below.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DTC DUAT Contract Extension

May 21, 2015 — Data Transformation Corporation, DTC DUAT which supplies the DUAT Service for the FAA for the past 25 years, has announced that it has been granted a 60 day extension by the FAA to continue to provide the FAA DUAT service. DTC DUAT has always been committed to making the DUAT Service better for General Aviation pilots by adding new features and services making it easier to get weather briefings and file flight plans. DTC would like to inform all of its users and third party vendors that we are fully operational and plan to continue operations during and after the 60 day period. DTC DUAT is pursuing alternative avenues to provide the DUAT Service capabilities to its users following the 60 day extension period.

For more information on this topic or anything about DUAT, please contact our marketing manager, Doug Priestley, at (800) FAA-DUAT (322-3828) or by email at marketing@dtcduat.com.

If the alternative avenues do not produce the desired results and DTC DUAT operations cease, what will be the real-world, day-to-day effects on general aviation?

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I think that there would be little practical impact, except for those people who are heavily invested in DTC DUATS specifically and have to switch to another system.

First, there are two DUATS providers: DTC and CSC. Even if DTC goes away, CSC is still available, at least for now, and it provides exactly the same service as DTC (see this question).

Second, Lockheed Martin Flight Service (LMFS) provides all of the information and flight plan filings that DUATS does, and also provides briefings with a human briefer. So there is a completely separate alternative to DUATS available, although admittedly switching tools always has some cost in terms of time and learning at least.

I assume the main impact would be on people who use DTC DUATS as their primary flight planning and filing tool and use it directly, rather than via another tool. For example, I use Garmin Pilot with CSC DUATS but I could switch to DTC simply by changing the data provider option. Some flight planning tools also support LMFS flight plan filing and I guess that more and more will in future, if only for competitive reasons. But if you use the DTC DUATS website directly and are very experienced and comfortable with it then switching to LMFS or anything else would have a learning curve.

But in the end, people won't quit flying or even cancel flights just because DTC goes away. They'll just complain a bit, choose a new platform (probably LMFS) and get on with it.

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There are many downstream companies that provide briefing services and flight plan filing using DTC or CSC DUATS, and the ones using DTC may have some trouble transitioning to another provider of data. My impression is that more of these downstream vendors are with CSC and will not be interrupted.

For example my company, ENFLIGHT.COM (which provides the time-saving value added service of personal minimums briefing on top of a DUATS briefing) relies on CSC as the back end.

Lockheed Martin is also heavily promoting interfaces to allow downstream companies to provide value added services on top of flight service data and connectivity. I know a number of companies are developing interfaces to Lockheed, at the very least to avoid having all their eggs in one basket.

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I believe those of us that found DTC to be the best of the three will be disappointed in the other two. I miss DTC already. Lockheed Martin, to me, is as primitive as the Flight Service tools I used for 13 years as a briefer for the FAA. CSC is not much better. Recently CSC e-mailed me and said they were not interested in any of my negative comments about their system. (They were suggestions). If there is a commercial briefing system I can afford I would consider it over these two! If we could follow the money trails from lobbist and not allow non-aviation oriented quota hires to make decisions in the FAA DTC would have easily won over the other two! I fly only VFR these years, Bonanza, and rarely at night. I rarely fly to new places and have routes I have flown for years. DTC made briefings to and from these easy to obtain, read and understand. I was very happy with DTC.

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  • $\begingroup$ "non-aviation oriented quota hires" is not a constructive characterization. $\endgroup$ – BSteinhurst Jul 26 '15 at 0:19

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