A former U.S. Air Force base in Selma, Alabama will soon be home to the country’s first Remote Air Traffic Control Center (RTC). Keep reading to learn more about the announcement.
Advanced ATC Inc., an air traffic control academy out of Valdosta, Georgia, announced at a press conference last week their plans to invest more than $4.7 million to establish the Remote Tower Air Traffic Control Center in Selma.
The control center, located at historic Craig Field, will be the first-ever in the country along with an international air traffic control training academy, the first of its kind anywhere.
Remote air traffic control
Remote tower technologies allow air traffic controllers to perform all the tasks of a traditional control tower from a different location by using cameras, real-time video and other technology.
“Remote towers represent an important and innovative step in airspace modernization efforts in the U.S., and I’m excited to see Advanced ATC establish its pioneering operation at Craig Field. This virtual tower represents another example of how our state is at the leading edge of trends shaping the future of aviation and aerospace for the U.S.”Greg Canfield, Secretary, Alabama Department of Commerce
The remote tower will be equipped to support air traffic control services for up to 40 airports across the nation.
First international air traffic training academy in the world
Advanced ATC also plans to establish an international training academy at Craig Field to provide training for the remote tower air traffic controllers. According to officials, the academy is projected to house between 25 and 50 students.
The academy is expected to accept its first class in September prior to the remote air traffic control tower will being certified in December.
Big news for Selma
The news opens the doors for future aviation exploration in Selma and beyond.
“To be able to do this here in Selma, Alabama, is a great testament to the local leadership and the collaboration that had to take place to bring all of this together. I really think this particular project is going to put Craig Field back on the map and will be a draw for other activity into the future.”Greg Canfield, Secretary, Alabama Department of Commerce
The company plans to hire 28 people for the operation in the first year, with a $3.1 million payroll. According to Selma EDA, the employment figure is predicted to rise to as many as 119 within the next five years.
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