MARCH 25, 2009

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TCC Gives First Look at Air Traffic Control Program and Training Facility

Photo of TCC's control tower simulator.
TCC's state-of-the-art training facilities, including a $1.5 million control tower simulator, are designed to meet the changing needs of the air traffic control industry.

Every day more than 50,000 aircrafts are guided safely through the national airspace system. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has selected Tulsa Community College to train future control tower personnel with a new air traffic control degree program.

The FAA’s selection of TCC to participate in the Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (CTI) program makes it only the second institution in Oklahoma to offer the training. Approved colleges and universities in the program prepare and train students interested in a career as an air traffic controller.

 “It is a privilege that the FAA has selected TCC to train men and women who are essential to the everyday safety and coordination of the aerospace industry and a variety of aviation fields,” said Dr. Tom McKeon, president and CEO of TCC.

“The new air traffic control program will prepare students for a high-pay, high-demand career.”

Those interested can receive an Associate in Applied Science degree in aviation sciences technology, air traffic control (ATC) from TCC. The degree is designed to provide training in the application of terminal tower and radar approach control procedures related to air traffic control. Curriculum consists of 68 total credit hours within general education, technical specialty, technical support and technical related classes. Upon successful completion of the program students become eligible for recommendation by faculty as candidates for the FAA Air Traffic Control Academy.

To compliment the student’s training, TCC installed a $1.5 million control tower simulator, radar approach simulation and additional state-of-the-art training facilities designed to meet the changing needs of the air traffic control industry. Ideal candidates for the degree program are between the ages of 18 and 27 years old.

According to the FAA’s Web site, it plans to recruit and hire more than 17,000 new air traffic controllers over the next 10 years. In the last three years, the FAA has hired 5,000 new controllers and plans to hire more than 2,000 in fiscal year 2009. The starting salary in Oklahoma for air traffic controllers is about $60,000.

TCC offers additional aviation sciences technology degrees including professional pilot, aviation management and aviation maintenance, among others.