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Air Traffic Control Lab


TECH 153

Air traffic control lab

In the Air Traffic Control (ATC) Lab, students learn the rules and regulations as they pertain to air traffic control:

  • Aircraft separation standards
  • ATC tower operations
  • RADAR operations

Airport simulation

The ATC lab is equipped with six simulated presentations and a tower presentation of the airfield at Hobby airport. Students apply the rules and regulations to simulated aircraft flying in the Houston area as well as aircraft operating in/out of Hobby airport. They learn proper phraseology as it pertains to ATC when issuing clearances to land or take off, or course headings when flying from one point to another. This includes Visual Flight Rules and Instrument Flight Rules. These rules apply to certain pilots with the proper ratings to fly under various conditions.

From an airport management perspective, having the basic knowledge of ATC procedures and regulations allows a better understanding of airport, the airport movement area, why runways and taxiways are designed the way they are, and for what purpose. Runway alignments contribute to capacity issues, as to how many aircraft can land at an airport per hour. It also helps when handling aircraft emergencies and incidents.

Computer terminals in the air traffic control lab

Having knowledge of the basic ATC rules and regulations, as well as how to apply those rules and regulations gives our students an advantage when applying for ATC positions with the FAA as entry level air traffic controllers. Currently, there are two graduates of the program that are air traffic controllers, and one graduate that works for the FAA as a computer specialist.