GCAA to start licensing air traffic personnel locally

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Ing Charles Kraikue (left), Director General, GCAA presenting a plaque to a recipient at the event

The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has initiated a process to start licensing air traffic safety electronic personnel (ATSEP) locally to enhance safety of flights and bring the country closer to its dream of becoming an aviation hub in West Africa.

When operational, the ATSEP license training programme will ensure personnel involved in the maintenance and installation of communication, navigation and surveillance/air traffic management (CNS/ATM) systems acted professionally at all times in the performance of their duties.

Towards that, the GCAA has started discussions with the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) and Ghana Air Traffic Safety Electronic Association (GhATSEA) to begin the process of licensing ATSEPs rather than seeking such services in other countries.

The Director General of GCAA, Ing Charles Kraikue, who made this known at the International Air Traffic Safety Electronic Personnel (ATSEP) Day in Accra, observed that the management of GCAA would do everything in its power to make the first ATSEP license training programme in Ghana a reality.

He stated that the proposed ATSEP license training programme would attract people from all over Africa to train at the Ghana Civil Aviation Training Academy (GATA).

“We will support the efforts to amend Annex one to the convention to include ATSEP although it has been tough over the years, I will encourage you to continue the pursuit of this agenda,” he said.

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The ATSEP Day is a day set aside by International Federation of Air Traffic Safety Electronics Associations (IFATSEA) in recognition of the efforts of ATSEPs towards ensuring the safety of air transportation all over the world.

An ATSEP is a technical staff involved with the creation and management of the ground-based electronic hardware and software systems which enable air navigation services (ANS) and air traffic management (ATM).

On the theme “Enabling Global Aviation Recovery by Ensuring CNS/ATM Service Continuity and a Cybersecure Ground ANS Ecosystem,” this year’s celebration appropriately placed ATSEPs and its role at the heart of the safety of the aviation industry.

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ATSEPs’ role

The President of GhTSEA at GCAA, Ing Mahama Asunga Abdulai, said the role of ATSEPs has largely included highly technical and operational activities whereby they were responsible for supervising, monitoring, controlling and real-time reporting of technical services that were supported by CNS and ATM electronic systems.

He said in terms of maintenance activities, ATSEPs were responsible for providing preventive and corrective maintenance and/or updates or modification of CNS/ATM systems.

“ATSEPs also perform installation, project specification, conception, validation, integration, testing and acceptance. In this regard, they conduct safety assessments, calibration, certification, optimization, and the upgrade of supporting electronic systems and equipment.

“We also work in such related areas safety management, network security management, quality management, general management, teaching and assessment,” he said.

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GACL’s commitment

The Managing Director of GACL, Mr Yaw Kwakwa, indicated that the GACL would continue to provide ATSEPs with the requisite training, exposure and knowledge transfer to guarantee the continuous performance of their roles and improvement in the availability and functionality of systems and infrastructure at all airports in the country.

“We will provide the needed support consistent with GACL’s commitment to ensure the highest safety and security standards, including in the maintenance of airport information, revenue management, and air traffic management systems,” he said.