School Graduates New Air Traffic Controllers - - Texoma news, weather and sports

School Graduates New Air Traffic Controllers


GRAYSON CO., TX --  A big day Monday at North Texas Regional Airport and Grayson County College.  The air traffic control training program that started earlier this year graduated its first class of students.  KTEN's Chris Severy has the story.

Nearly 30-years ago, President Ronald Reagan fired all federal air traffic controllers when they went on strike.  People hired to take their places are now reaching mandatory retirement age.  That's leading to about 17-hundred new controller jobs each year for at least the next 10-years.  Now, part of that next generation of controllers has graduated right here in Texoma.  Twelve students received their diplomas from the 10-month long course offered by L3 Communications Link Simulation and Training Program at North Texas Regional Airport.  The only air traffic controller training program of its kind in Texas started at the airport back in January.  Now, these students are certified air traffic controllers and ready to get to work.  Salil Naik said, "I graduated from college and the fields I had gone to school for were down in the dumps because of the economy, so this was just a great career with great job opportunities available.  According to the government, being an air traffic controller is the highest paying job you can have without being required to have a 4-year college degree.