LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration is touting the use of a computerized training simulator in Las Vegas that officials say helps air traffic controllers learn to direct aircraft take-offs and landings at busy McCarran International Airport.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor says the control tower simulator in Las Vegas is one of 22 in place at major airports around the country. The FAA also has 14 simulators at its training academy in Oklahoma City.

Four more simulators are slated to begin operations this year in Seattle, Detroit, Houston and the New York metropolitan area. Gregor says units cost about $900,000, including installation.

Trainees in Las Vegas began using the system May 31.

McCarran was 8th busiest airport in the U.S. in 2010, when its controllers handled more than 505,000 takeoffs and landings.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.


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