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New Firm Manages City’s Air Traffic

Air traffic control duties at Oxnard Airport have been taken over by Serco Group Inc., a worldwide aviation services company, it was announced recently.

On Jan. 30, Gibbsboro, N.J.-based Serco acquired Barton ATC Inc. and Barton ATC International Inc. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

The Barton companies employ 200 people at 37 airports throughout the United States, according to Serco spokesman Walter Robinson. The Barton companies provided air traffic control services to the Federal Aviation Administration as well as services at local government-owned airports.

For the last two years, Barton employed seven air traffic controllers at the Oxnard Airport on 5th Street.

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Oxnard Airport is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and serves general aviation primarily. In addition, United Express uses the facility for shuttle service to Los Angeles.

Steve Haven, owner of Oxnard Aircraft Service and a frequent user of the airport, said the private air traffic controllers have done a good job keeping the airport running smoothly.

“The controllers are a lot more easygoing than when the FAA was here,” Haven said. “They’re always more helpful in giving you a clearance when you want to do something special.”

Serco employs 19,000 people in more than 30 countries, and provides aviation services in Europe, the Middle East, Australia, Bermuda and Canada.

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