FAA Opens High-Tech ATC Command Center

Virginia site to serve as air traffic flow nerve center.

The FAA on Monday said the new David J. Hurley Air Traffic Control System Command Center in Warrenton, Virginia, is fully operational and ready to coordinate traffic flows across the national airspace system. “If you think of our national airspace system as an orchestra, the Command Center’s the conductor,” said Transportation Deputy Secretary John Porcari. “It’s a 24/7 operation where the traffic flow is set for the entire day.” Traffic management specialists at the center balance air traffic demand with system capacity, working with the airlines and other aviation stakeholders to handle any constraints in the system, such as poor weather and runway closures. They coordinate with air traffic controllers at facilities throughout the country to ensure that air traffic moves as smoothly as possible, the FAA said.

The new Command Center is co-located with the FAA's Potomac Terminal Radar Approach Control facility, which opened in 2002. About 600 employees work at the two facilities. “With 5,000 aircraft in the sky over the U.S. at any given moment, the Command Center plays a critical role in ensuring that all of that traffic is handled safely and efficiently,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt.