For Immediate Release

Release No. ASW 16-01
December 17, 2001
Contact: John Clabes, Roland Herwig
Phone: (405) 954-7500

FORT WORTH — Three Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic facilities this week will receive national recognition for their performance during 2000. Included are FAA's Houston Air Route Traffic Control Center; Midland Air Traffic Control Tower, Midland, and Alliance Air Traffic Control Tower, Fort Worth. The three Texas facilities represent different missions and levels of complexity in the nation's air traffic control system. They will also receive top facility awards from FAA's Southwest Region, which encompasses five states–Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and New Mexico.

"The success of these controllers and their national recognition reflects the special relationship between air traffic controllers and our aviation industry partners including pilots, airlines and airports here in the Southwest," said Doug Murphy, region air traffic manager.

Houston Center, whose controllers guide air traffic between airports and at high altitude over nearly half of Texas and several other states, netted national recognition for high accuracy of services in a year of record air traffic volume. One of 20 such centers, the Houston Center was selected as national facility of the year for innovative new services in the Gulf of Mexico, and for excellent community outreach, people programs and employee-management relations. The Center is credited with over 2 million operations during 2000, and received White House recognition for global positioning system helicopter navigation route structure innovations for the Gulf of Mexico. Ceremonies will be held Monday, Dec. 17.

Midland Air Traffic Control Tower controllers received top national honors from among hundreds of facilities of similar complexity. The combination of Midland Tower and San Angelo Radar Approach has seen a robust increase in air traffic, nearly half of which is military. Their West Texas-style aviation hospitality includes over one million error-free aircraft movements for general aviation, military and air taxi customers amidst construction projects on both airports, military deployments to those airports, and an air show. Tower controllers and managers also have a strong record of community involvement with both the city and the local aviation community. Ceremonies for the Midland controllers will be held at 1 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 18.

Alliance Air Traffic Control Tower, which handled over 171,000 operations in 2000 and has remained error-free since its commissioning in 1989, also received top national honors. Alliance controllers are cited for their handling of air traffic generated by a series of NASCAR events at nearby Texas Motor Speedway. Resident big-name customers at Alliance include Galaxy Aerospace, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, a Federal Express hub, and special American Airlines operations, with services to fixed and rotary-wing flight training making up nearly 70 percent of operations. Alliance controllers are also recognized as good neighbors in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex's airport community. They were noted for a series of visits to smaller airports to explain the dynamic mix of aviation at Alliance. Ceremonies will be held at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday.

Bill Peacock, director of the FAA's air traffic services, and Doug Murphy, air traffic manager for FAA's Southwest Region, will present the awards. Ruth Leverenz, Southwest Region administrator, will also speak.