The National Aviation Facilities Experimental Center (NAFEC) was founded July 1, 1958, by the Airways Modernization Board (AMB) and located in Galloway Township, New Jersey, near Atlantic City, New Jersey. On November 1, 1959, after passage of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, it came under the newly created US Federal Aviation Agency (FAA). Its purpose was to conduct research and development on air traffic control computers, transponders, and advanced radar equipment. The success (in terms of funding and research activity) eventually forced the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) to close its own Technical Evaluation and Development Center in Indianapolis starting in 1959.
The computerized air traffic control developed at NAFEC was based on the IBM 9020, special hardware developed by IBM. Software was developed by NAFEC, IBM, and under contract to Computer Usage Company. The system remained in operation until the 1980s. The former 1942 Naval Air Station became the Atlantic City International Airport, and the center is now called the William J. Hughes Technical Center, named for William J. Hughes. Since 1958, the center's core activities were accelerating programs to improve aviation safety and updating the air traffic control system, Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) being a part of it. Besides the research and development project work, the FAA field facilities have daily operational support all over the country from the center operating 24-hour. In order to make critical systems remain operational, center experts analyze problems and make software changes. 
- 1961 - Automation data processing center work to automate Air Traffic Control
- 1963 - First Wake Vortex Turbulence Test by helicopter
- 1966 - First operational testing of an Automated En-route Air Traffic Control System
- 1966 - Introduction of the Visual Approach Slope Indicator to provide improved guidance to runways
- 1969 - First test of a commercial solid-state aircraft cockpit display
- 1972 - First Air Traffic Control Tower cab mock up to test controller work areas and do airport observations
Other achievements which have recently enhanced the efficiency and safety of the flying public include:
- Air Traffic Control Displays
- Satellite Navigation
- Tower Laboratory Simulations
- Reduced Vertical Separation Minima
- Human Factors
- Aircraft Fire Safety
- Engineered Material Arrestor System
- Foreign Object Debris Detection
- The Traffic Flow Management System.
- "FAA Historical Chronology, 1926–1996" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 24, 2008. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
- George R. Trimble Jr. (June 24, 2005). "CUC History". Computer History Museum. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
- Robert L. Glass (1998). In the beginning: personal recollections of software pioneers. IEEE Computer Society. ISBN 978-0-8186-7999-5.
- "Atlantic City Naval Air Station, Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey fact sheet" (PDF). US Army Corps of Engineers. December 2007. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
- "William J. Hughes Technical Center". Federal Aviation Administration web site. Archived from the original on May 29, 2010. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
- "History". Federal Aviation Administration.
- "IBM FAA 360/65-9020 display". Stanford University Computer History museum. Retrieved June 2, 2010. pictures of 9020E being recycled
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