Six students from Vaughn College traveled to Washington, District of Columbia to attend and present at the 61st Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) Annual Conference and Exhibition from October 16 through 18, 2016. Students Omar Reyes Ramos ’17, Marco Tabora ’18, Keran Hanna ’19, Kelsey McGrath ’17, Lizmarie Rodriguez ’19 and Daniel Andrade ’17 presented their research on “Tomorrow’s Air Traffic Controllers: CTI High Complexity TRACON Simulation Training” at the Aireon Fly-by Theater.

ATCA is a non-profit, non-government, professional organization established in 1956 by a group of air traffic controllers focused on providing a forum dedicated to progress in the science of air traffic control and the preservation of a safe flight environment. Membership is open to all who have interest in encouraging the advancement of air traffic control and aviation.

Each of the students spoke on the different aspects of the air traffic control program at Vaughn, and how one Collegiate Training Initiative (CTI) institution moved from classroom instruction through initial radar training to training in highly complex and crowded airspace, made possible with the addition of high fidelity simulations coupled with highly motivated instructors and students.

The students’ presentation covered multiple elements of the Collegiate Training Initiative, and a quick view of Vaughn’s state-of-the-art simulator complex. The students traveled via Amtrak and also made a visit to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on their way to the conference. Dr. George Tracy and Professor Ronald Ruggeri accompanied the students to the conference.

Vaughn College is a member of the ATCA and sends volunteers every year to work at the conference. The students were able to volunteer, present for the first time and network with attendees and potential employers. “It’s good for the students to get that face time and see what the industry is like,” said Dr. George Tracy, professor of aviation. “A conference like this can help connect students to professionals they will meet and work with post-graduation.”

For more information about Vaughn’s air traffic control program, click here.


Left to right: Vaughn students Lizmarie Rodriguez ’19, Omar Reyes Ramos ’17, Keran Hanna ’19,
Kelsey McGrath ’17, Marco Tabora ’18 and Daniel Andrade ’17 present their research at
the annual ATCA conference in Washington, District of Columbia.