Aviation offers new air traffic control program

Hesston College airplane

Hesston College’s Aviation Program will be expanding this fall to include a new career track in air traffic control, according to Director of Aviation Dan Miller.

“The air traffic control program will provide a pilot’s perspective to controllers and an air traffic control perspective to pilots,” Miller said. “Through the merging of these perspectives, we believe that a higher quality of air traffic controller will be available to meet the FAA’s (Federal Aviation Administration) future controller needs. The FAA is experiencing a significant group of controllers who are now retirement age. This new program track is initiated to teach the next generation of air traffic controllers.”

All course work, including simulation training, will take place on Hesston’s campus, and the Aviation staff is looking into the possibility of one- to two-week internships at local tower and radar facilities. Students enrolled in the program will be able to earn either an A.A. degree or an A.A.A.S. degree in Aviation-Air Traffic Control. The program goal is to have 25 or more graduates per year.

“Building a new program track is a challenging and exciting adventure,” Miller said. “It’s very rewarding to be able to build on the success and reputation of the aviation program and make these additional career options available.”