Managing director /CEO of Aero Contractors, Captain Ado Sanusi, has observed that recognition of licensing and certification of Air Traffic Safety Electronics Personnel (ATSEP) should be given utmost priority.
Sanusi made the disclosure in a paper he delivered at the 2018 annual general meeting of the National Association of Air Traffic Engineers (NAAE) in Lagos recently, he emphasised that licencing of aviation professionals has considerably enhanced safety by providing regulatory standards that guarantee global application of the requirements of relevant ICAO guidelines – SARPs of Annex.He stated that it is commonly believed that such global requirements for issuance of licence for ATSEPs has contributed to creation of standardised environment in competency domain resulting in the further enhancement of aviation safety
In the paper titled “Aviation Safety: ATSEP Link” , Sanusi also pointed out that given that humans are at the centre of ATS systems, it will be appropriate that safety regulators have a tool at their disposal that will confirm that employees in all safety critical functions within the system have the necessary competence and current knowledge that required fulfilling their functions in a safe and efficient manner.
According to Sanusi, attributing improvements in air navigation cum aviation safety to emergence of better Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) equipment and maintenance standards is key because the maintenance standards aspect is almost wholly dependent on practices and work ethics of the ATSEP.
He therefore, maintained that the inevitable crystallization of ATSEP as a distinct occupation not only recognised by ICAO, but also by the International Labour Organisation (ILO); is attestation to the enormous contributions ATSEPs have made to the overall progress of Aviation safety.
He said “Aircraft Traffic Management aspect of Aviation Safety which is more relevant to this forum has been propelled to a very great extent by the vastly improved professionalism of ATSEP group of aviation professionals who are the ones with the professional competence to manage all hardware and software required to provide Air Navigation Services in an ever expanding technological era of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
This importance, he said is further accentuated by the astronomic increase in global aviation traffic in the past century simultaneously with vast improvement in Aviation Safety which has continued to steadily improve year upon year.
ATSEP as a profession encompasses a spectrum of professional engineers and highly trained technicians who are responsible for the specification, procurement, installation, integration, calibration, maintenance, and safety assurance and monitoring of these systems. Specifically, ATSEPs are responsible for ensuring continued operation of Communications, Navigation, and Surveillance (CNS) / Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems.
CNS and ATM systems are the infrastructure which Air Navigation Services rely upon in order to meet up their mandate or obligation of providing safe and efficient air traffic services to national, regional, and global segments of the Aviation community.
Moreover, CNS and ATM enhance Required Communication Performance (RCP), Required Navigation Performance (RNP) and Required Surveillance Performance (RSP) which are critical enablers to Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) as stipulated by ICAO.