Air Traffic Control


Why Vaughn College?
Vaughn College’s Air Traffic Control (ATC) program combines the expertise of  faculty that are professional air traffic controllers with the important hands-on experience of simulator laboratories. Students who advance to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) air traffic control program from Vaughn will do so with an understanding of the basic skills, concepts, standards and practices that air traffic controllers use and experience in a professional environment. Vaughn College is one of 33 FAA Air Traffic – Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) partner institutions.  On July 15, 2016, President Obama signed the FAA Extension, Safety and Security Act of 2016.  The law aims to ensure selection of the most qualified applicants by creating two specific pools of candidates.  The first is for graduates from schools participating in the AT-CTI initiative, along with eligible veterans of the US Armed Forces.  The second is for the general public.  An equal amount of hires must be made from both pools.  Details are available by visiting “FAA Extension, Safety and Security Act of 2016.”

See NBC ‘s August 18 coverage of the air traffic controller shortage and Vaughn’s ATC laboratories here.


The FAA recently announced it will be accepting applications from entry-level candidates for air traffic controller positions from August 8 to 15, 2016. Click here to read the announcement and visit the FAA’s hiring site for current information.

Vaughn AT-CTI candidates should click here for information on the qualifications necessary to meet the FAA’s requirements and on how to apply.

Enroute Air Traffic Control Center Lab
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The Enroute Air Traffic Control lab allows Vaughn’s Air Traffic Control students to learn and practice critical communications and aircraft handling skills required during the enroute phase of air traffic control. This includes the vertical, lateral and longitudinal separation of aircraft in the departure, enroute and arrival phases of flight.

Terminal Radar Approach Air Traffic Control Lab
Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) deals with the control of airplanes, typically when they are within 30 miles of the airport, or transiting airspace near the airport. The primary responsibility of TRACON is the safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of arrival, departure, and en-route traffic.

Control Tower Air Traffic Control Lab
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The Control Tower Air Traffic Control Lab represents typical traffic for an air traffic facility. The Tower lab simulates the video environment of a specific airport and its surroundings, allowing for the adjustment of weather, time of day and other variables.

Students Holding an Associate or Bachelor’s Degree
Graduates of other colleges or universities may also be eligible for Vaughn’s Air Traffic Control program. They will need to enroll for a second associate or bachelor degree program and complete a minimum of 30 credits at Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology.

The program accepts freshman students, transfer students and college graduates. Freshman and transfer students can enroll in one of the following approved degree programs:

Bachelor of Science
Airport Management
Airline Management
Aircraft Operations
Electronic Engineering Technology – Avionics
Aviation Maintenance
Aviation Maintenance Management

Associate in Applied Science
Airport Management
Aircraft Operations
Electronic Engineering Technology – Avionics
Aviation Maintenance

For students who hold a degree, we offer a fast track approach.
Students holding academic associate degrees
Students holding academic bachelor’s degrees

Our Location
Vaughn College’s campus in Flushing, Queens adjacent to LaGuardia Airport and close to all major New York Airports is a hub of activity with opportunities for connecting with friends, faculty and industry professionals.

For more information about Vaughn College’s Air Traffic Control program, contact Ernie Shepelsky, vice president of enrollment services at 718.429.6600, extension 141 or



Domenic Proscia – Vice President of Training
Domenic Proscia is a graduate of the College of Aeronautics (Class of ‘94) and began as an instructor in the aircraft maintenance program in 1995. The ATI, flight simulator labs and flight dispatch certificate program are all under his leadership. According to Proscia, “The College has one of the largest A&P programs in the country, and at Vaughn, we have space designed exclusively to fit its needs.”


Captain Pete Russo, PhD – Chair of the Aviation Department
Captain Russo started his career in the United States Air Force, where he trained as a pilot and rose through the ranks becoming a unit commander and a director of operations. After the military, Captain Russo worked for commercial and cargo airlines, where his focus became safety and pilot training. Captain Russo has developed inspection processes, has published articles in aviation journals, and received his PhD in aviation safety from the Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

 Click here to see the Air Traffic Control Association’s (ATCA) feature on Vaughn’s simulator lab.
For additional career opportunities, contact Philip Meade, executive director of career services at or 718.429.6600, extension 189.