Friday, August 22, 2008
"Choosing the best candidates is important, giving them the best training and technology possible is essential," Secretary Peters said. "These simulators will give us better air traffic controllers and will make our skies safer."
The Secretary noted that the simulators, which are being installed at the Federal Aviation Administration's Monroney Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City, will give controller trainees a near-lifelike learning environment. She added that the new technology was needed to help prepare the record number of new controllers the federal government will be hiring and training over the coming years.
"This is a huge step toward making our skies safer and the air traffic control system even more efficient. Oklahoma City has long been the home of air traffic control training for our nation and I am thrilled that we are now home to this exciting new technology," said Congresswoman Mary Fallin, who was with the Secretary during the visit to the facility.
The Secretary and Congresswoman visited the facility to see first hand how the 1,451 students at the facility are learning to become new air traffic controllers and aircraft inspectors. During the facility, Secretary Peters saw a demonstration of the new simulators in action and observed several classes.
"I welcome today's announcement by Secretary Peters regarding the addition of new simulators at the FAA academy in Oklahoma City," said Senator James Inhofe. "This dynamic training tool is designed to provide a real life training experience and is expected to significantly cut training times. Importantly, these new simulators will mean that the FAA academy will continue to be the premier training facility for Air Traffic controllers."
The Secretary also learned how the new simulators will allow the facility's instructors to simulate air traffic conditions at virtually any airport in the world. "When our trainees take their place in the field, they will be among the very best in the world. Secretary Peters also noted that the new simulators will not only be used to train new controllers, saying that the high-tech systems will also be used to help current controllers sharpen their skills and prepare for new assignments.