Engineering | The Polytechnic School

Air Traffic Management Mission Statement

Who We Are

The Air Traffic Management program within the Aviation Program at Arizona State University is a relatively new program that has achieved national prominence. The program was designated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as a Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) program in 2007 and is accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI). The FAA’s Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative program is designed to provide the FAA with applicants who have successfully completed a collegiate-level program in Air Traffic Basics. The Air Traffic Management curriculum at Arizona State University exceeds the minimum requirements of the FAA by providing classroom and simulation training in the three areas of air traffic control (Tower, TRACON, and En Route) as well as providing internship opportunities at air traffic control facilities throughout the United States.

Faculty members have expertise and experience in the three options of air traffic control – Tower, TRACON and En Route. They continue their involvement with industry and are actively involved in research and scholarly activities. This program prepares four-year program graduates as controllers with the FAA, though employment with the FAA is not guaranteed. The curriculum provides a technical foundation in air traffic control procedures and operations. Students gain a background in aircraft operations, management skills and business principles through a variety of course work specific to air traffic control.

What We Do

We provide students with the knowledge and skills critical to their success as industry leaders. Based on research findings and continuous interaction with industry, faculty are able to deliver content that is not only current, but also forward looking, allowing students to develop an awareness of future concerns. Instruction is delivered through various mediums, including lecture, simulation, and projects completed with industry partners.

How We Do It

Unique to this program is the multi-level simulation labs for training in both the tower and radar environments. The simulation labs provide students with progressive-training, from basic phraseology and procedures up through advanced simulation exercises. Students enrolled in the simulation classes have 24-hour access to newest simulation lab that utilizes voice-recognition technology, every day of the week. The simulators allow students in the program to experience some of the difficult situations experienced by actual controllers without the significant safety issues that would be encountered in a “real world” environment. The air traffic faculty, working with the FAA and personnel from the Phoenix Sky Harbor Tower and TRACON, has developed innovative curricula in support of the Air Traffic Management program.

While recognizing that some students will learn certain material faster than others, the innovative Accelerated Competencies Training (ACT) training model sought to implement new curricula (theory) reinforced by applied application (simulation) in order to drastically shorten the time periods required for controller certification. The ACT program was instituted with cadre groups of interns working at the Phoenix Tower and TRACON. The ACT program, based upon extensive field feedback, has been extremely successful. It is believed by current facility training personnel that the interns trained utilizing the ACT program could achieve CPC in a dramatically reduced period of time.

From their continuous involvement with the Aviation Industry Advisory Board, as well as through participation at national and international conferences, faculty members are able to provide students with leading-edge course content and educational experiences. State-of-the-art simulation and other training resources provide students with educational opportunities unique to collegiate aviation academic programs. Upon graduation, students transition seamlessly into industry becoming leaders in the field.