The MTSU Department of Aerospace’s air traffic control program was featured on both CNBC and PBS Dec. 5.
MTSU and Dowling College in Shirley, New York, were highlighted in the CNBC piece reported by Mary Thompson. The story also was part of the “Nightly Business Report,” which airs locally on Nashville Public Television’s second digital channel, NPT2.
The CNBC story, part of the network’s “Where the Jobs Are” series, is available at www.cnbc.com/id/102239898, or you can watch the story directly at “Nightly Business Report”‘s YouTube channel below.
Both the CNBC and “Nightly Business Report” features explored job prospects for students studying to become air traffic controllers around the nation. The story is headlined “Look to the sky for this job opportunity.”
Thompson interviewed MTSU professor Gail Zlotky, manager of the air traffic control program. Some of her comments were used in the CNBC piece.
Zlotky told Thompson the ATC “job market will keep going” because air traffic controllers must be hired before their 31st birthdays and must retire at age 56.
The FAA will need to hire new controllers because thousands of the approximately 14,100 current jobholders are approaching mandatory retirement.
Thompson also interviewed MTSU senior De’Angelo Blair, 23, of Memphis, Tennessee. He switched to air traffic control from his first choice, professional pilot, because of the high cost for flight instruction.
Blair told Thompson he would maintain his “passion about air traffic control” even if the FAA does not accept him.
Accompanied by audio specialist David Rogers of Nashville, video journalist Rodney King of Nashville featured the 360-degree air traffic control simulator located on the first floor of the Business and Aerospace Building in his footage.
MTSU and Dowling are among 36 colleges, which are part of the FAA collegiate initiative. The military is the FAA’s other option in hiring air traffic controllers.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)