On December 30, 2013 the FAA changed the manner in which it hires applicants for the position of Air Traffic Control Specialists. Prior to this date the FAA had established several hiring sources; they were, military controllers (VRA), reemployed PATCO controllers, CTI graduates, and Off-the-Street. However, CTI graduates were the fastest growing source for ATCS candidates. Nevertheless, the only thing that really changed was the manner in which the FAA began hiring new applicants; namely, all applicants are selected from one hiring source.
However, the requirement for attending and passing the FAA Academy did not and has not changed with the new hiring process. What this means for anyone contemplating a career in air traffic control is that their chances of passing the FAA Academy are greatly diminished if they have little or no training in air traffic control rules, procedures, and phraseology. What the Broward College Air Traffic Control program offers to students is the opportunity to learn Air Traffic Basics in a college setting and the ability to put this learning into practice at our state of the art Tower and Radar simulators from experienced retired FAA air traffic controllers. The pass rate, at the FAA Academy and attaining CPC status for graduates of Broward’s ATC program is exceptionally high, so despite the changes occurring in the FAA two critical things remain constant; the FAA will continue to need air traffic controllers to replace those eligible or nearing eligibility for retirement and the FAA Academy is still a Pass/Fail step for anyone wishing to become an air traffic controller.
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