Air traffic

Groundbreaking $4.7 Million Remote Air Traffic Control Tower Academy Arrives in Selma

A remote air traffic control tower, as well as a training center for the next technology-assisted step in aviation, arrives in Selma, in a first in the United States

The $4.7 million Remote Tower Air Traffic Control Center (RTC) will be built at Craig Field by Advanced ATC Inc., an air traffic control academy in Valdosta, Georgia, according to an announcement this morning.

Increasingly used in Europe, remote towers use cameras, real-time video and other technologies to perform the function of a conventional control tower, only from a different location.

Selma’s remote tower will be equipped to support air traffic control services for up to 40 airports across the United States Advanced ATC also plans to create a first-of-its-kind international training academy at Craig Field, offering operational training and certifications for remote tower air traffic controllers, producing up to 50 per year.

According to the Alabama Department of Commerce, Advanced ATC plans to hire 28 people in the first year, growing to 119 people within five years, with an annual payroll of $8 million.

Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield called it “an important and innovative step in efforts to modernize airspace in the United States.”

“This Virtual Tour Center represents another example of how our state is at the forefront of trends shaping the future of aviation and aerospace for the United States,” Canfield said.

Advanced ATC works with Indra Corp., a Spanish manufacturer of aviation navigation systems and a leader in remote tower technology. Indra will provide personnel, software and logistical support.

“The prospect for smaller airports to be able to afford ATC service without having to build a $5-10 million control tower is now available with the advancement of camera and satellite technologies changing almost daily,” said said Dan Cunningham, Advanced ATC COO Dan Cunningham.