1st remote air traffic control center in US to be in Alabama

Jun 3, 2022, 6:32 PM | Updated: 6:41 pm

SELMA, Ala. (AP) — A company is seeking to build the country’s first-ever remote air traffic control center, which could handle traffic for multiple airports, on the site of an old Air Force base in Alabama, a newspaper reports.

Advanced ATC Inc., an air traffic control academy based in Valdosta, Georgia, announced plans Thursday to invest about $4.7 million at Craig Air Field, now a public airport in Dallas County, just southeast of Selma, the Selma Times-Journal reported. The company also announced it will establish an international training academy at the site.

The remote tower uses cameras, real-time video and other features, allowing air traffic controllers to remotely accomplish the duties they would previously have carried out in a traditional control tower, the company said.

“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,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

While the technology is gaining a foothold in Europe, it is relatively new to the United States, Dan Cunningham, chief operator officer for Advanced ATC, told The Associated Press.

“Remote tower systems are brand new in the United States,” Cunningham said. He said the tower will be part of their training academy at the site — where they anticipate training students from around the globe — but will need approval from the Federal Aviation Administration before handling air traffic in the United States.

The Federal Aviation Administration has not approved any remote tower systems for use. But Cunningham said remote towers at two airports are currently going through the evaluation process, and “our process will be the same.”

Advanced ATC officials said the remote tower will be equipped to support aviation expansion and provide air traffic control services for up to 40 airports in the U.S.

“The outlook for small airports to be able to afford ATC service without the requirement to build a $5 million to $10 million control tower is now available with the advancement of camera and satellite technologies changing almost daily,” Cunningham said. “The Selma RTC will be the catalyst for this historic change in the United States.”

The company’s five-year plan seeks to bring as many as 119 jobs to Selma, with a payroll of $8 million. Of those, the company will hire 28 people to operate the facility at Craig Field within the first year, with a payroll of $3.1 million.

Indra, an aviation navigation systems company, will partner with Advanced ATC and contribute staffing, software and logistics for each remote tower system established in North America.

Meanwhile, the international training academy will provide operational training and certifications for between 25 and 50 students each year.

“We are thrilled to reach a win-win agreement and are very anxious to get started making aviation history at Craig Field,” said Advanced ATC President Monica Cunningham.

When asked for a timeline of when to expect the new additions to be operational, Craig Field Executive Director Jim Corrigan said the academy would accept its first class in September and the remote air traffic control tower will be certified in December. He added that Craig Field will also have a staffed air traffic control tower.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - in this Aug. 27, 2020, file photo, Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes speaks during a news co...
Associated Press

Wisconsin Democrats focus ire on Republican Sen. Johnson

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Democrats looking to unseat Republican Sen. Ron Johnson focused their attacks on him Sunday, and not each other, as the eight candidates made their case to party activists at the state convention held six weeks before the primary. The Democratic Senate candidates blasted Johnson for his attempt to deliver fake […]
11 hours ago
FILE - Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen arrives to meet with Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe ...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: What’s the impact of a Russian debt default?

Russia is poised to default on its foreign debt for the first time since the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, further alienating the country from the global financial system following sanctions imposed over its war in Ukraine. The country faces a Sunday night deadline to meet a 30-day grace period on interest payments originally due May 27. […]
11 hours ago
Associated Press

Detroit woman charged after body of son, 3, found in freezer

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit woman has been charged in the death of her 3-year-old son after police found the boy’s decomposing body in a basement freezer. The 31-year-old woman is charged with first-degree murder, child abuse and torture and concealing the death of an individual, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Sunday. She was […]
11 hours ago
April Aamodt holds a Mormon cricket in her hand in Blalock Canyon near Arlington, Ore. on Friday, J...
Associated Press

‘Biblical’ insect swarms spur Oregon push to fight pests

ARLINGTON, Ore. (AP) — Driving down a windy canyon road in northern Oregon rangeland, Jordan Maley and April Aamodt are on the look out for Mormon crickets, giant insects that can ravage crops. “There’s one right there,” Aamodt says. They’re not hard to spot. The insects, which can grow larger than 2 inches (5 centimeters), […]
11 hours ago
Leili Ghazi, a 22-year-old immigrant from Iran, sits for a photo in Pasadena, Calif., Tuesday, June...
Associated Press

Former Iran conscripts say unfairly blocked from US travel

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two years ago, Leili Ghazi quit studying biomedical engineering in Iran and seized the chance to travel to the United States to build a new life for herself and her parents. Now, the 22-year-old is separated indefinitely from her family because her father performed required military service more than two decades […]
11 hours ago
Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Road to Majority conference Friday, June 17, 2022, in N...
Associated Press

Trump’s lasting legacy grows as Supreme Court overturns Roe

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden rarely mentions his predecessor by name. But as he spoke to a nation processing a seismic shift in the rights of women, he couldn’t ignore Donald Trump’s legacy. “It was three justices named by one president — Donald Trump — who were the core of today’s decision to upend […]
11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
...
Canvas Annuity

The secret to guaranteed retirement income

Annuities aren’t really a secret, but they are so misunderstood that they might as well be. Once you understand what an annuity is and how it can benefit you, you could decide this “secret” is the perfect supplement to your retirement plan.
1st remote air traffic control center in US to be in Alabama