March 4, 2016 // Facility Spotlight: Corpus Christi ATCT (CRP)
Corpus Christi ATCT (CRP) is a level 9 facility, home to 27 dedicated NATCA members. The current facility was commissioned in 2001, but the airspace configuration was established in the early 1990s when CRP took over the valley airspace. CRP works traffic from the Mexican border to 140-miles to the north.
CRP frequently works with Navy Kingsville (NQI), Navy Corpus (NGP), Navy Cabaniss (NGW), Navy Waldron (NWL), Houston Center, and two Mexican non-radar approach controls. Controllers at CRP work a large mix of airliners as well as general aviation aircraft. Roughly 50 percent of the Navy performs primary and secondary training at NGP, giving controllers the opportunity to work many military aircraft.
“This collaboration with the Navy really sets CRP apart from other facilities,” explains FacRep Evan White. “Because they are a training facility, these practice approaches are really the bread and butter of the operation at CRP. At most facilities, controllers working approach will tell the aircraft, ‘Expect the (insert approach)’, but Corpus says, ‘Say request.’”
CRP controllers’ dedication to safe Navy operations doesn’t end with training exercises. NGP and other nearby Navy bases regularly have air shows in the springtime. Soon, the area is going to be home to the Space X Spaceport near Brownsville, which will only add to the busy and diverse airspace.
CRP hosts a variety of special events, including membership and solidarity meetings attended by NATCA President Paul Rinaldi, NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert, former NATCA President John Carr, and NATCA Regional Vice President Andrew LeBovidge.
“We are a very young local,” explains White. “Educating new members about what the Union does for them and how we can be active has been the best part about being FacRep.”
In the future, CRP hopes to host an annual fly-in. They had one scheduled at Mustang Beach airport last year, but it was unfortunately cancelled due to Hurricane Patricia.