Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) - William J. Hughes Technical Center (WJHTC)


FLC Region

Security Lab



Atlantic City Int'l Airport
Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08405
United States

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Laboratory Representative


The FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center is the world's premier aviation research and development, and test and evaluation facility. The Technical Center serves as the national scientific test base for the FAA. Technical Center programs include research and development, test and evaluation, and verification and validation in air traffic control, communications, navigation, airports, aircraft safety, and security. They also include long-range development of innovative aviation systems and concepts, development of new air traffic control equipment and software, and modification of existing systems and procedures. Through a series of initiatives known collectively as NextGen, the Technical Center is helping to shape the Next Generation Air Transportation System.

Located 10 miles northwest of Atlantic City, and covering more than 5,000 acres, the Technical Center consists of state-of-the art laboratories, test facilities, support facilities, the Atlantic City International Airport (ACY), and a non-commercial aircraft hangar. The Technical Center is also home to the Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Lab, and the United States Coast Guard Group Air Station Atlantic City, as well as the New Jersey Air National Guard 177th Fighter Wing. While the Technical Center serves to advance aviation, it is a key focal point for Homeland Security as well.

With 50 years of achievement and excellence, the Technical Center continues to serve as the cornerstone for aviation innovation across the globe.


The Technical Center is the national scientific test base for FAA research, development and acquisition programs. Center activities involve test and evaluation in air traffic control (ATC), communications, navigation, airports, and aircraft safety and security. Activities involve long-range development of innovative systems and concepts, development of new equipment and software, and in-service modification of existing systems and procedures. The Technical Center's vision is to provide integrated engineering and research services for the development and support of a safe, secure and efficient global aviation system.

Technology Disciplines

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Air Traffic Analysis Using a Linear Inequalities Solver
Airspace design evaluation
Flight restriction zone detection and avoidance
Method for conducting a moving vehicle along a trajectory of a coordinated maneuver based on state information broadcast by other vehicles participating in the coordinated maneuver
Method for generating conflict resolutions for air traffic control of free flight operations
System and method for stochastic aircraft flight-path modeling
Tactical aircraft check algorithm, system and method


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William J. Hughes Technical Center

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The FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center’s newest laboratory, located in the National Aviation Research and Technology Park (NARTP), exemplifies a technology transfer partnership success story.

The NARTP is an auxiliary organization of Stockton University that establishes high-technology aviation facilities and provides opportunities to promote aviation-related applications.

The FAA worked together with the NARTP, the Atlantic County government, the State of New Jersey Economic Development Agency and several nonprofit entities to bring this laboratory to fruition. This new facility positions Atlantic County and the state of New Jersey to impact the future of aviation through innovation, research, development, testing, evaluation, and the transfer and commercialization of cutting-edge global aviation technologies.

“The construction of the first of seven buildings was made possible through focused efforts, willing partners, dedicated individuals, and good timing,” said Technical Center Director Shelley Yak.

The FAA laboratory will:

  • Serve with other FAA labs as a foundation for Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, and for the transfer of technologies and intellectual property to the marketplace.
  • Support research in the areas of artificial intelligence, autonomy, SMART airports, data analytics and as-yet-unimagined aviation innovation.
  • Promote Aviation Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (AvSTEM).
  • Foster innovation and facilitate implementation of SMART airport technologies at the Atlantic City International Airport.

This new laboratory will use the Agency and the NARTP resources (people and labs) to further capitalize on new as well as existing partnerships with academia to grow the future aviation workforce. Atlantic Cape Community College, Stockton University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rowan University, and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University are already onboard.

The FAA’s laboratory will also:

  • Provide internships.
  • Support AvSTEM studies to students ranging from elementary school to college.
  • Foster education and job programs.
  • Facilitate collaboration between small companies and the FAA.

This regional investment started with a vision when the FAA Technical Center began seeing a convergence of trends towards public-private partnerships, fiscal reallocation, innovation, and information technology. The aviation research community determined then that to maintain global prominence in aviation research and innovation, the FAA, industry and academia needed to work together.

To make this laboratory a reality, the FAA leased 58 acres to the NARTP, and the Atlantic County Improvement Authority financed, constructed and now operates the building. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said the project shows how the state will lead in the aviation innovation economy. New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney said Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson’s leadership in championing the construction of the Park made “all the difference.”

The ribbon cutting of this new laboratory caps a decades-long quest to develop an aviation hub near the Technical Center and the airport. The successful effort can be attributed in part to the FAA’s leadership and progressive thinking.

The future of aviation begins here at the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center’s newest laboratory with the end goal of commercializing research and technology products.

FAA National Aviation Research and Technology Park

Shelley Yak, Director, FAA Technical Center (2nd from left), Chris Brown, state senator (4th from left), Philip D. Murphy, New Jersey governor (center), Dennis Levinson, Atlantic County Executive (2nd from right), and NJ Senate President Steve Sweeney (far right) cut the ribbon to the National Aviation Research and Technology Park. Photo Courtesy of FAA


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