Seven graduates of Metro State’s Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) were second only to Purdue University grads in 2010 in their average score on an FAA exam to test the knowledge of new hires.
With a 75 percent average score, the Metro State alumni were less than 2 percentage points behind Purdue and 10 percentage points above the combined average of FAA controller-trainees from the 36 colleges and universities that have AT-CTI programs.
Aviation and Aerospace Science Professor James Simmons said this exam is given after applicants have completed a multi-step FAA hiring process. “Among other things, to be hired, applicants have to pass medical and psychological tests as well as thorough background checks.”
Since being named an AT-CTI site in 2007, Metro State has graduated 65 students, at least 22 of whom have either been hired or are currently in the hiring pipeline, according to Simmons. Under FAA policy, new hires are first often assigned to smaller airports in their home state. Graduates are also working in the Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center in Longmont.
The AT-CTI program was started to address the huge shortage of air traffic controllers due to the mandated retirement of those hired in the 1980s. The FAA estimates that roughly 17,000 new controllers will have been hired by 2017.
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