FAA adds simulators to controller training

The FAA will deploy new air traffic control tower simulators to 19 locations around the country to help train new controllers.

The new simulators will be deployed over the next 18 months at towers at John F. Kennedy; Los Angeles; Oakland, Calif.; Washington Reagan National; Dallas Fort-Worth; Atlanta; Denver; Philadelphia; Cincinnati; Cleveland; San Antonio; Memphis; Honolulu; Orlando; Charlotte; Minneapolis; Boston; and Newport News, Va. An additional six simulators will be installed at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City. Simulators already are in Chicago, Miami, Phoenix and Ontario, Calif.

The Tower Simulation System (TSS) includes a graphic depiction of the airfield and the area around the airport and can be adjusted to depict different weather conditions and times of the day. The screen wraps around the student’s position to replicate windows of an actual control tower.

The simulator provides synthetic voice response and voice recognition to allow students to direct and receive responses as they would in the tower. The voice recognition system also interprets the student’s commands and translates them into aircraft movements depicted on the screen.

The simulator does not interact with actual air traffic control operational systems, FAA officials note.

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