Air traffic safety technicians provide technical support regarding the safety of air traffic control and navigation systems. They design, maintain, install and operate these systems both in the airport and on board the aeroplane according to regulations.
The following job titles also refer to air traffic safety technician:
air traffic safety electronics hardware specialist
air traffic safety software specialist
air traffic safety engineer
air traffic safety hardware specialist
air traffic safety electronics software specialist
air traffic safety electronics engineer
air traffic safety electronics technician
An associate’s degree in electronics, transportation, or a related field is typically required to work as an air traffic safety technician.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Air traffic safety technician is a Skill level 3 occupation.
Air traffic safety technician career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to air traffic safety technician.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of air traffic safety technician. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of air traffic safety technician with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of air traffic safety technician.
- Aircraft flight control systems: Know the setting, features and operation of aircraft flight control systems. Manage flight control surfaces, cockpit controls, connections, and operating mechanisms required to control the flight direction of an aircraft. Operate aircraft engine controls in order to change aircraft speed.
- Electrical systems used in transportation: Understand the functioning of electrical systems, their specifications, and application in operations and systems for the transportation of freight and people.
- Technical drawings: Drawing software and the various symbols, perspectives, units of measurement, notation systems, visual styles and page layouts used in technical drawings.
- Airport electrical systems: Know the different elements that comprise airport electrical systems, such as air navigation equipment, electronic landing aids, radars, and meteorological services. Know the function and operation of each of these elements.
- Electronics: The functioning of electronic circuit boards, processors, chips, and computer hardware and software, including programming and applications. Apply this knowledge to ensure electronic equipment runs smoothly.
- Air transport law: Know air transport laws and regulations. Due to the nature of aviation, knowledge of air transport laws partially overlaps with knowledge of international law.
- Airport safety regulations: Know airport safety regulations and instructions.
- Safety engineering: The engineering discipline used to ensure that systems, machines and equipment work according to the set safety standards and laws, such as environmental law.
- Common aviation safety regulations: The body of legislation and regulations that apply to the field of civil aviation at regional, national, European and International levels. Understand that regulations aimed at protecting citizens at all times in civil aviation; ensure that operators, citizens, and organisations comply with these rules.
- Surveillance radars: Know that Mode A/C Secondary Surveillance Radar stations continuously interrogate all aircraft within their range. Know that Mode S Secondary Surveillance Radar stations carry out interrogations of aircraft within their coverage.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of air traffic safety technician.
- Install electrical and electronic equipment: Install equipment which is dependent on electric currents or electromagnetic fields in order to work, or equipment to generate, transfer or measure such currents and fields. This equipment includes switchboards, electric motors, generators or direct current systems.
- Use testing equipment: Use equipment to test performance and operation of machinery.
- Comply with air traffic control operations: Act in compliance with instruction provided by air traffic controllers.
- Maintain electronic equipment: Check and repair electronic equipment. Detect malfunction, locate faults and take measures to prevent damage.
- Ensure aircraft compliance with regulation: Ensure that every aircraft complies with applicable regulation and all components and equipment have officially valid components.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of air traffic safety technician. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Air traffic management: Thoroughly understand the major activities in air traffic management, such as air traffic control, air traffic flow management, and aeronautic information services.
- Electrical engineering: Understand electrical engineering, a field of engineering that deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism.
- Aircraft mechanics: Technicalities over mechanics in aircrafts and related topics in order to perform a wide range of repairs in aircrafts.
- Types of aircraft: The various types of aircraft, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
- Global navigation satellite system performance parameters: Know the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) performance parameters, and the requirements that an GNSS system should possess in specific conditions.
- Air traffic control operations: Understand the tasks performed by air traffic controllers, including Interaction and effective communication between aircraft and air traffic controllers; execution of follow-up activities, and ensuring smooth operations during flights.
- Aviation meteorology: Understand aviation meteorology to deal with the impact of weather on air traffic management (ATM). Understand how thorough changes in pressure and temperature values at airports can create variations in head and tail-wind components, and may impose low visibility operating conditions. Knowledge of aviation meteorology can help to reduce negative impact on the ATM system by diminishing disruption and the consequent problems of disturbed flow rates, lost capacity and induced additional costs.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of air traffic safety technician. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Design electrical systems: Draft sketches and design electrical systems, products, and components using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software and equipment. Draw panel arrangement layouts, electrical schematics, electrical wiring diagrams, and other assembly details.
- Use meteorological information: Use and interpret meteorological information for operations dependent on climatic conditions. Use this information to provide advise on safe operations in relation to weather conditions.
- Debug software: Repair computer code by analysing testing results, locating the defects causing the software to output an incorrect or unexpected result and removing these faults.
- Test circuitry: Inspect and test signal circuitry, using standard electrical or electronic testing equipment.
- Inspect aircraft for airworthiness: Inspect aircraft, aircraft components, and aviation equipment to ensure they conform to design specifications and to airworthiness standards following major repairs or alterations. Approve or deny issuance of airworthiness certificates.
- Test electrical equipment: Test electrical systems, machines, and components and check electrical properties, such as voltage, current, resistance, capacitance, and inductance, using electrical testing and measuring equipment, such as a multimeter. Gather and analyse data. Monitor and evaluate system performance and take action if needed.
- Address aircraft mechanical issues: Identify and resolve mechanical issues which arise during flight; identify malfunctions in fuel gauges, pressure indicators and other electrical, mechanical or hydraulic components.
- Use technical drawing software: Create technical designs and technical drawings using specialised software.
- Oversee quality control: Monitor and assure the quality of the provided goods or services by overseeing that all the factors of the production meet quality requirements. Supervise product inspection and testing.
- Operate cockpit control panels: Operates control panels in the cockpit or flight deck according to the needs of the flight. Manage on-board electronic systems to ensure a smooth flight.
- Install software: Install machine-readable instructions, such as computer programs, in order to direct the computer’s processor to perform a certain set of actions.
- Assess operating cost: Estimate the operating cost in terms of manpower, consumables and maintenance.
- Design control systems: Develop devices that command and manage the behaviour of other devices and systems, using engineering and electronics principles.
- Perform aircraft maintenance: Carry out inspection and maintenance on aircraft parts according to the maintenance procedures and documentation, and perform repair work to remedy functional and deterioration problems.
- Manage air navigation services: Manage air navigation services; oversee financial planning and follow evolutions in aviation technology.
- Ensure safety in international aviation: Communicate with national and international agencies to ensure maximum efficiency and safety in the field of aviation.
- Design electronic systems: Draft sketches and design electronic systems, products, and components using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software and equipment. Make a simulation so that an assessment can be made of the viability of the product and so the physical parameters can be examined before the actual building of the product.
ISCO group and title
3155 – Air traffic safety electronics technicians
- Air traffic safety technician – ESCO
- Air traffic safety technician – International Labour Organization
- Featured image: By U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District – Pope Field Air Traffic Control Tower, Public Domain