Air Traffic Control Laboratory (ATC)

Air Traffic Control Laboratory (ATC)

About the Air Traffic Control Lab

SLU’s Department of Aviation Science purchased and installed an Air Traffic Control (ATC) simulator system from ADACEL that includes a control tower and RADAR simulator labs. ADACEL is the same simulation system the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Defense uses to train their active Air Traffic Controllers.

The control tower simulator consists of three positions: local control, flight data and ground control. It is voice activated meaning when students give instructions the computer recognizes them and responds accordingly. There is also a psuedo pilot position for the control tower simulator to add and assist to different scenarios. The simulated airport consists of two parallel runways and one intersecting runway with one main terminal and two fixed base operators (FBOs).

AIr Traffic Control TrainingSLU aviation students demonstrate how their education is preparing them to be leading professionals in the industry on KSDK news .

The RADAR simulator consists of two radar scope positions, North approach control and South approach control. It also has two radar assist positions. The airspace consists of four arrival gates, four departure gates, and services the main airport and one satellite airport. The RADAR simulator is run by two psuedo pilot positions.

The RADAR lab and the control tower lab are linked together so both labs work together as would a real tower and radar facilities. Aircraft are handed off from the radar to the tower and vice versa. Students coordinate through intercom systems for arrivals and departures. Frequency radios are used to communitcate with the simulated aircraft and students must practice crew resource management to facilitate the smooth flow of air traffic.

There are 50+ air traffic control locally created scenarios ranging from the very basics of vectoring, taxiing aircraft to the runway, and clearing airplanes for takeoff to utilizing all four arrival gates and eparture gates simultaneously. The scenarious are very real world realistic and provide a hands on application of the inner workings of air traffic control. They also incorporate a good majority of the air traffic rules associated in the FAAH 7110.65 rule book. Students are completely immersed in the inner workings of air traffic control at Parks College.

Air Traffic Control Courses at Parks College

Students interested in our Air Traffic Control minor will receive hands-on instruction from experienced faculty to provide them with a better understanding of the industry and become familiar with air traffic control procedures.

  • ASCI 102 - Intro to Air Traffic Control: This course provides instruction in basic air traffic control procedures and phraseology used by personnel providing air traffic control services. Students will become familiar with FAA handbooks and regulations that pertain to the operational responsibilities of an air traffic controller. Students will receive hands-on training on air traffic control radar simulators. 

Upon completion of the four ATC courses, Parks College students will have an excellent understanding and application of both control tower operations and RADAR operations.

Additional Aviation Science Resources