Facility Near Warrenton, VA Slated To Open In 2011
Management of the nation's air
traffic control system will move to a permanent home in a
state-of-the-art facility near Warrenton, VA in 2011, when a new
Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Control System Command
Center is completed.
Federal and local officials broke ground Thursday on the new
facility. The existing command center near Washington Dulles
International Airport will close when its lease expires in
Acting FAA Administrator Robert A. Sturgell said the
63,000-square-foot building that will house the FAA's new command
center will share its site with the FAA's Potomac TRACON, a
consolidated approach and departure control facility serving
Washington, Baltimore and Richmond-area airports.
"This is what state-of-the-art looks like," Sturgell said. "As a
nation, we're moving to satellite-based air traffic control, and
this facility will help us reap the benefits. This is the
headquarters for air traffic control efficiency."
The command center will continue to oversee the nation's entire
air traffic control system, including air traffic control towers,
approach and departure facilities and high-altitude control
centers. The facility also will monitor all electronic navigation
The center's staff do not directly control traffic, but monitor
and coordinate with other air traffic facilities and system users,
including the airlines, the military and business aviation groups.
The center's main mission is management of the entire airspace
system to balance demand with capacity, and to deal with weather
and other potential disruptions to air traffic.
About 300 controllers, managers and support staff members will
move from the existing facility to the command center, which will
house some of the most sophisticated air traffic display and
communications equipment available. Equipping the center will cost
an estimated $46 million.
The FAA has awarded a $22 million contract to Corinthian
Construction Company of Arlington, VA to build the new center. In
addition to Corinthian, four other companies in Maryland and
Virginia will be major subcontractors. Placing the command center
adjacent to Potomac TRACON enables the FAA to use utilities and
infrastructure put in place when the TRACON was built on land that
once was the home of the Vint Hill Farms military base.