MISSION control is a step closer to reality for Rural Fire Service volunteers in Armidale.
A $6 million development application for a Fire Control Centre was approved by the Joint Regional Planning Panel earlier this week.
It's one positive in what's been a tough couple of months for rural firefighters, battling a number of enormous blazes in the state's north west.
Right now the incident management team for the fires are at Glen Innes, 100 kilometres from the airbase the operation is run out of, RFS Zone manager Steve Mepham said.
"That's a big disconnect because we don't have the infrastructure," he said.
"That DA puts us in the queue now for state government funding."
The approval brings with it improvements to the firefighter training centre, with a new winch simulator exciting volunteers with State Emergency Services, NSW Paramedics and National Parks and Wildlife Services.
"It's cheaper to practice on a simulator than under a helicopter," Mr Mepham said.
It's hoped the project will receive funding in the next 12 months to two years."