Noon Rotary members awed by aerospace ATC simulato...

Noon Rotary members awed by aerospace ATC simulator

Murfreesboro’s Noon Rotary Club members got a glimpse of the MTSU Department of Aerospace’s unique Air Traffic Control Training and Research Facility on Aug. 9.

MTSU aerospace professor Bill Stewart talks about the features of the 360-degree seamless tower lab while leading Murfreesboro Noon Rotary members touring the MTSU air traffic control simulator Aug. 9. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

“I was impressed with all of it. It’s very high-technology,” said Bart Walker, Noon Rotary Club president and owner of radio station WGNS. “With all the things in air traffic control, MTSU is on the cutting edge.”

“This is state of the art. It’s Murfreesboro’s hidden gem,” added Melissa Cassidy, group sales manager with DoubleTree Hotel and one of 66 Noon Rotary Club members visiting the facility in the Business and Aerospace Building.

Bob Farris, a 1955 MTSU alumnus and retired U.S. Army colonel, asked MTSU personnel numerous questions when they showcased the University’s 360-degree ATC simulator and the neighboring NexSim radar lab.

“I thought it was an outstanding demonstration of the new technology they’re trying to advance at MTSU,” said Farris, owner of Farris Tax Services. “It is a top-rate university … air traffic control is a very complex field where people have to avoid making mistakes.”

Dr. Gordon Johnson, co-owner of Murfreesboro Chiropractic Clinic, and Middle Tennessee Medical Center CEO Gordon Ferguson agreed after the visit that neither realized such a level of technology and training is available in Murfreesboro.

MTSU unveiled the $3.2 million ATC tower lab and NexSim radar lab to the public earlier this year. Students began training in January.

View a short video of their visit here.

— Randy Weiler, jweiler@