HAWTHORNE — "Snow" fell on John Wayne Airport runways on Friday morning.
OK, it was simulated snow, part of an air traffic control simulator demonstration by JWA airport control tower support specialist Joe Santoro.
The hypothetical situation created by a high-tech simulator is used to train controllers, preparing them for any scenario they might face in the real world, including the unlikely event of a winter dusting at JWA.
"We can create any kind of emergency, special operation or procedure that (trainees) would see in their training or maybe would not see for a long time," Santoro said while looking at a computer-generated replica of JWA's runways projected onto a series of wall-sized monitors at the Federal Aviation Administration Regional Office and training hub in Hawthorne.
The hub opened about two years ago for the training of Los Angeles International Airport air traffic controllers. In November, eight JWA traffic controllers began receiving additional training via the simulator.