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Thu, Oct 25, 2007

FAA Expands Air Traffic Education Program

Nine New Colleges Selected To Train Controllers

The FAA announced Thursday the number of prospective air traffic controllers is expected to increase significantly now that nine new colleges and universities have been selected by the agency to train students to be controllers.

There are now 23 schools chosen by the FAA to participate in the agency’s Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (CTI) program. The CTI program is part of a broader effort by the agency to recruit, train and hire controllers as the current workforce faces retirement. CTI schools are accredited and offer a non-engineering aviation degree in aviation programs.

"We have a plan in place to make sure the nation’s airspace system is managed by an appropriate number of highly motivated, properly trained controllers," said Hank Krakowski, Chief Operating Office of the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization. "The CTI program is a big part of that plan."

Of the 1,815 new controllers hired in fiscal year 2007 -- a number exceeding the target set in the agency’s controller workforce plan --approximately 800 were graduates of CTI schools. Graduation does not guarantee acceptance to the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City, but those accepted are allowed to skip the initial, five-week basic training in air traffic control.

Nine additional schools were chosen after being evaluated in three areas: organizational foundation and resources, organization credibility, and curriculum and facilities. They are: Arizona State University; Community College of Baltimore County (Maryland); Florida Community College-Jacksonville; Green River Community College (Washington); Lewis University (Illinois); Kent State University (Ohio); the Metropolitan State College of Denver (Colorado); Middle Georgia College, and the University of Oklahoma..

The nine schools join fourteen others that renewed their commitment to the program, which was first established in 1990 at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Schools already offering CTI programs are: Community College of Beaver County (Pennsylvania); Daniel Webster College (New Hampshire); Dowling College (New York); Embry-Riddle-Daytona Beach (Florida); Hampton University (Virginia); Inter-American University of Puerto Rico; Miami Dade County College (Florida); Middle Tennessee State University; Minneapolis Community and Technical College (Minnesota); Mount San Antonio (California); Purdue University (Indiana); University of Alaska; University of North Dakota, and Vaughn College of Aeronautics (New York).

The FAA evaluates all CTI programs on a regular basis. The next evaluation will take place in January.

FMI: www.faa.gov

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