L-3 Link Simulation and Training held a ribbon cutting ceremony today at its newly established air traffic control academy.
The Link Simulation and Training Air Traffic Control (ATC) Academy, licensed by the Texas Workforce Commission, will open in January 2009. Students will be trained to meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification requirements for control tower operators. Opening of the Link ATC Academy, located on the grounds of the North Texas Regional Airport in Denison, Tex., comes at a time when the FAA is planning to hire 17,000 new air traffic controllers over the next 10 years. During this period, 85 percent of current FAA air traffic controllers will reach mandatory retirement age. The Link ATC Academy will graduate 120 students annually that have demonstrated a complete understanding of air traffic control and are prepared for FAA control tower operator certification, said David Williams, L-3 Links vice president of Training Services. Students will gain the knowledge and skills required of todays air traffic controllers as they undergo an intensive 10-month course that consists of academic, simulation and on-the-job-training that will include directing live traffic at the Link-operated air traffic control tower at North Texas Regional Airport. L-3 Link is a systems integration organization that delivers and supports training systems and equipment to enhance operational proficiency. L-3 Links current services include conducting front-end analysis; program design; simulator design and production; field support; aircraft logistics support; and air traffic control training. L-3 Link has major operations in Arlington, Texas, and other key bases of operation in Binghamton, N.Y.; Orlando, Fla.; Broken Arrow, Okla. and Mesa, Ariz.