FAA Opens New Air Traffic Control System Command Center in Virginia
The ATCSCC balances air traffic demand with system capacity in the National Airspace System (NAS). The Command Center, as it is commonly known, is committed to managing the NAS in a safe, efficient, and cohesive manner.
“If you think of our national airspace system as an orchestra, the Command Center’s the conductor,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation John Porcari. “It’s a 24/7 operation where the traffic flow is set for the entire day.”
FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said the Command Center plays a “critical role” in ensuring that all air traffic is handled safely and efficiently. There are about 5,000 aircraft in the sky over the U.S. at any given moment.
The Command Center is responsible for managing the overall use of the national airspace system. Traffic management specialists balance air traffic demand with system capacity, working with aviation stakeholders to handle any constraints in the system, such as weather, runway closures and delays. They coordinate with air traffic controllers at facilities throughout the country to ensure that air traffic moves as smoothly as possible.
The new Command Center is co-located with the FAA’s Potomac Terminal Radar Approach Control, or TRACON, a consolidated approach and departure control facility that opened in 2002. About 600 employees work at the two facilities.