A federal court has upheld a State Department award of an 11 1/2-year, $10 billion contract to AAR Airlift, dealing a blow to McLean-based DynCorp International’s yearlong fight to wrest the lucrative program away from the Illinois company.
The Court of Federal Claims entered a judgement late Tuesday in favor of the U.S. government, upholding the award of the Worldwide Aviation Support Services (WASS) program to the subsidiary of publicly held AAR (NYSE: AIR).
The contract for worldwide aviation services — supporting the work of the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Office of Aviation — was initially awarded in September 2016. It calls for providing aviation support for the eradication and interdiction of illicit drugs along with personnel training, reconnaissance, personnel recovery, medical evacuation, security and equipment and ferrying of aircraft.
The Government Accountability Office denied DynCorp’s protest of the contract award in December 2016. DynCorp immediately took its case to the Court of Federal Claims, saying AAR purposefully poached DynCorp employees with previous experience on the contract. DynCorp had held the contract for more than two decades.
AAR, DynCorp alleged, then used those ex-DynCorp employees to obtain proprietary information to compete for, and ultimately win, the recompete of WASS in September 2016.
“While we are disappointed by the court’s decision based upon the facts and merits of the case, we are honored to have served the INL Air Wing program for more than 25 years, having a distinguished record of flight safety and operational excellence,” DynCorp said in a statement.