In civil aviation ATSEP stands for Air Traffic Safety Electronics Personnel.
The professional activity relates, as indicated in the name, to safety in the provision of electronics systemsfo air traffic services. This group of professionals performs a constantly growing contribution to efficiency in air traffic in controlled air space as well as on the ground in airports.
The air traffic technology creates and guarantees the indispensable conditions, so that the air traffic controller and the airline pilot can perform their work.
The Occupation as a Mission
ATSEP, are generally persons with a technical basic education, a suitable specialist training and professional experience in the specific domain. For some years now the occupation is registered officially with the international Labor Organization ILO in Geneva (see ANNEX). A growing number of ATSEP hold a university education as a graduated engineer. The technologies to be mastered ask for a specialization in areas such as radio frequency technology, software and IT, utility and power electronics or communication technology.
Within all ATSEP tasks there is a general relevance to safety or even safety critical functions, the following guiding principles must always remain.
- system integrity
- system reliability
- system availability
A whole Group of Professionals
ATSEP work with equipment and systems under the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) concept of CNS/ATM and regulated through Annexes to the Chicago Convention and local state requirements.
CNS / ATM covers not only wireless and wire communication installations, including voice branch exchange systems but the whole range of navigation and radar equipment. Also the complete chain of radar and flight data processing up to the display at the working position of the controller.
Another important domain is the utility engineering and electrical power plant facilities equipped with unbreakable power systems which guarantee power for all safety of live equipment during emergencies. Also meteorological sensors for the flight weather service belong to the scope of ATSEP work agenda.
At the beginning of the career the ATSEP professionals are responsible for preventive and corrective maintenance and for modifications of the existing air traffic control infrastructure. Often they also deal with specifications, installations, testing and certification or the commissioning of the air navigation infrastructure on the ground.
In some countries ATSEP also start to take care for space based air navigation services based on satellite technology.
In maintenance activities the spectrum of the tasks range from system management in the heart of an area radar control center ACC up to flight calibration of navigation or radar facilities aboard a specifically equipped aircraft.
In whose Hands lies the Future?
It is generally recognized that for the improvement of flight safety, the constant advancement of technology is of utmost importance. Further efforts point to automation for safety and efficiency. The dependence on technology is constantly increasing and the safety aspects of the work is growing. Therefore, additional challenges for the profession are approaching.
E.g. how to introduce internationally harmonized ATSEP training and an international based licensing system for the safety-critical activities in accordance with ICAO rules.
Our engineers and technicians are always deliberate when carrying out their tasks and conscious of the high responsibility towards life, society and the environment.