Auburn to assist FAA with new Air Transportation Center of Excellence for Technical Training and Human Performance

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Auburn University is part of a team, led by the University of Oklahoma and selected by the Federal Aviation Administration, to head the new Air Transportation Center of Excellence for Technical Training and Human Performance.

As a core team member, Auburn will collaborate with other institution members and industry partners to support research and development on technical training for air traffic controllers, aviation safety inspectors, engineers, pilots and technicians.

Auburn and all other academic team members have nationally recognized aviation-related education programs. Some member institutions, like Auburn, also own and operate their own aircraft and airports.

"Auburn University is uniquely qualified to be a core member of the Center of Excellence," said Bill Hutto, director of Auburn's Aviation Center. "The university has been involved with aviation and aerospace education for more than 80 years and we celebrate 75 years of manned flight training this year. We look forward to working with the other colleges on campus to bring Auburn's expertise and many years of experience to the team."

Along with the Aviation Center, Auburn's Raymond J. Harbert College of Business, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, College of Liberal Arts and College of Education are expected to contribute to research and development efforts.

The FAA also selected Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, to lead another team of peer institutions to benefit the center.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said he expects the partnership between academia, industry and government will help the FAA to "educate and train aviation professionals well into the future."

"Auburn's collaboration with the Air Transportation Center of Excellence for Technical Training and Human Performance demonstrates our institution's robust commitment to advancing aviation science, research and technology," said Tim Boosinger, Auburn provost and vice president for academic affairs. "Our contributions to this endeavor will be realized through enhanced safety measures and increased precision, both of which impact passengers around the globe."

Since Congress authorized Air Transportation Centers of Excellence under the Federal Aviation Administration Research, Engineering and Development Authorization Act of 1990, the FAA has established 12 Centers of Excellence in critical topic areas focusing on unmanned aircraft systems, alternative jet fuels and environment, general aviation safety, commercial space transportation, airliner cabin environment, aircraft noise and aviation emissions mitigation, advanced materials, general aviation research, airworthiness assurance, operations research, airport pavement and technology and computational modeling of aircraft structures.

In addition to being a member of the new Air Transportation Center of Excellence for Technical Training and Human Performance, Auburn is also an associate member of Mississippi State University's Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence consortium, which addresses challenges related to the regulation and implementation of UAS, or unmanned aircraft systems, in the national airspace system.

For more information about the FAA Centers of Excellence program, go to

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