Call for Applications: EMSA/CA/2015/12 - Project Officer for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)

Post: EMSA/CA/2015/12 - Project Officer for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)
Directorate/Unit: Department C - Operations
Type of post: Contractual Agent
Function group: IV
Location: Lisbon
Closing date for applications: 11 January 2016

The selection of candidates will follow the EMSA Staff Recruitment Procedure. Candidates must apply for this post via the EMSA website http://www.emsa.europa.eu - vacancies. Please note that to make an EMSA on-line application you will need to create your EMSA profile using a valid e-mail address and a password.

1. Background

The European Maritime Safety Agency was established for the purpose of ensuring a high, uniform and effective level of maritime safety, maritime security as well as prevention of and response to pollution by ships within the EU.

The idea of a European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) originated in the late 1990s along with a number of other important European maritime safety initiatives. EMSA was set up as the regulatory agency that would provide a major source of support to the Commission and the Member States in the field of maritime safety and prevention of pollution from ships.

The European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002, as amended, provides the legal basis for the establishment of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).

2. Tasks of the Agency

The Agency provides technical, operational and scientific assistance to the European Commission and Member States in the fields of maritime safety, maritime security, prevention of, and response to, pollution caused by ships as well as response to marine pollution caused by oil and gas installations.

The Agency also contributes to the overall efficiency of maritime traffic and maritime transport.

3. Department C - Operations

Department C facilitates technical cooperation between Member States and the Commission for EU vessel traffic monitoring, the Long Range Identification and Tracking of vessels, and satellite monitoring and provides operational assistance to Member States and the Commission in the field of preparedness and response to at-sea pollution. The Department also provides a platform for integrated services, tailored to user requirements.

The Department is composed of four units, and also has a horizontal “Coordination and Innovation” cell:

  • C.1 Pollution Response Services
  • C.2 Vessel and Port Reporting
  • C.3 Maritime Surveillance
  • C.4 Digitalisation & Application Development

4. Functions and Duties

The Project Officer for RPAS will, under the responsibility of the Head of Department C, be responsible for managing and performing project management, core technical and administrative processes for operational RPAS demonstrations in the maritime domain, including the support to the Agency in questions on operations, flight permits, certifications of RPAS, aeronautical products, parts and appliances and applicable safety standards. In particular he/she will be responsible for:

  • Supporting the Agency in all dimensions of aviation technology, where it is necessary from the operator’s point of view;
  • Provision of expertise in aviation management, air traffic control and the procedures to authorise RPAS operations;
  • Drafting of CONOPS and flight plans for long endurance and MALE RPAS operations;
  • Assisting in the management, performance and control of core activities related to initial airworthiness of RPAS for maritime surveillance in order to ensure compliance with applicable safety standards;
  • Developing specifications for RPAS services in the maritime domain;
  • Being liaison officer and specialist on site in the preparation and operation of RPAS in cooperation with national users, flight administrations and industry partners;
  • Providing support in ensuring proper execution and timely completion of RPAS operation planning;
  • Assisting in the coordination of projects to ensure its results are in accordance with the project plan and with the respective EU rules and procedures;
  • Providing support in ensuring adequate coordination and information sharing with the key project partners for the purposes of the project planning, implementation, reporting and visibility;
  • Preparing documents, such as reports, notes, letters, presentations and minutes of meetings, co-ordination and management of document flows internally and with external institutions.

5. Eligibility and Selection Criteria


Qualifications and experience required:

A.1. Education and professional experience:  

A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies of at least three years attested by a diploma, and appropriate professional experience of at least one year. 

A.2. Language skills:

The main working language in the field of maritime safety is English. Candidates must therefore have a very good command of oral English, as well as in writing, with a satisfactory knowledge of at least one other official language of the European Union to the extent necessary for the performance of the above mentioned duties.


B.1 Essential:

  • Comprehensive knowledge in the design and development of RPAS and related sensor technologies or equivalent experience;
  • At least 3 years of professional working experience in the field of authorisation of flight operations, aviation safety, or certification;
  • Proven experience in project management: familiarity with the Project Management Cycle and other relevant techniques and tools;
  • Experience in working in an international/cross-cultural environment of more than 2 years. 

B.2 Advantageous:

  • General knowledge of RPAS related programmes and preferably related to maritime surveillance;
  • Good knowledge of aviation safety regulatory requirements;
  • Professional aeronautical experience, especially in the field of aviation product design, certification, flight operation and/or maintenance; 
  • Possession of aeronautical titles such as private pilot license, maintenance engineer or other similar licenses;
  • Experience in situational maritime surveillance and picture compilation.

The advantageous criteria will be considered by the Selection Board depending on the number of applicants meeting the essential criteria.

Applicants must meet the required eligibility criteria concerning the required educational qualifications and years of experience, as well as the essential criteria by the deadline for this call for applications.

In addition to the requirements above, candidates invited to the interview and test phase may also be assessed against the following supplementary requirements:


  • IT proficient in MS applications - Word, Outlook, Excel and Power Point.     
  • Good organisational and co-ordination skills;
  • Strong sense of initiative and responsibility;
  • Ability to work independently;
  • Ability to work under pressure and respond to changes in a rapidly evolving work environment with tight deadlines;
  • Ability to quickly grasp issues that are politically sensitive and inform line managers accordingly;
  • Having a supportive and helpful personality, with a co-operative and service oriented attitude;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to cooperate smoothly in a multicultural environment. 

6. General Conditions

In order to be eligible the candidate must:

  • Be a national of one of the Member States of the European Union or of Iceland or Norway;
  • Be entitled to your full rights as a citizen;
  • Have fulfilled the obligations imposed on you by the laws concerning military service;
  • Meet the character requirements for the duties involved and
  • Be physically fit to perform the duties linked to the post.

7. Conditions of Employment

The Project Officer for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) will be appointed by the Executive Director, upon recommendation of the Chairperson of the Selection Committee.

The duration of the contract is three years, with the possibility of renewal.

The successful candidate will be recruited in function group IV (FGIV). The grade will be determined in accordance with the number of years of professional experience.

The basic monthly salary for the entry grade of Function Group IV, (Function Group IV, Grade 13, Step 1) before any deductions or allowances, weighted for Lisbon, at 1 July 2012 is 2,606.24 EUR.

In addition to the basic salary, staff members may be entitled to various allowances, such as an expatriation allowance (16% of basic salary), household allowance, dependent child allowance and education allowance. The salary is subject to a Community tax deducted at source and staff members are exempt of national taxation.

Please note that recruitment is done in the first step of the indicated grade.

EMSA offers a comprehensive welfare package including pension scheme, medical, accident and occupational disease insurance coverage, unemployment and invalidity allowance. Further information regarding rights and conditions of employment can be found in the following document:


The place of employment is Lisbon, Portugal.

Candidates are advised that if they are offered a post, and accept, they must undergo a compulsory medical examination to establish that they meet the standard of physical fitness necessary to perform the duties involved.

8. Submission of Applications

Candidates must submit their application electronically solely via the EMSA website within the deadline. Applications by any other means (hard copy or ordinary e-mail) or submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.

All candidates will receive an acknowledgement of receipt for their application.

EMSA is an equal opportunities employer and encourages applications from all candidates who fulfil the eligibility and selection criteria without any distinction whatsoever on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age, marital status or other family situation or sexual orientation.

You may apply in any of the official languages of the European Union, but it would be helpful to apply in English in order to facilitate the selection process.

9. The Selection Process

For each selection process a Selection Committee is nominated. The selection is carried out in two phases:

1. In the first phase all eligible applications will be evaluated by the Selection Committee and scored against the selection criteria. Please note that non-compliance with at least one of the essential selection criteria will result in the exclusion of the candidate from the selection process. Advantageous criteria constitute additional assets and will not result in exclusion, if not fulfilled. The advantageous criteria will be considered by the Selection Committee depending on the number of applicants meeting the essential selection criteria.

On this basis, the Selection Committee will invite to the interview and to the test phase the best qualified candidates (maximum of 15), on condition that they have achieved at least 60% of the highest possible score during the evaluation of applications. Should the case arise that there are various candidates scoring the same number of points in the 15th ranking, the number of candidates to be invited will be increased accordingly to accomodate this. 

2. In the second phase, the selected candidates will be invited to pass one or several written tests related to the job profile and to take part in a selection interview.

During this recruitment phase, the selected candidates will be evaluated by the Selection Committee. After the interviews and tests, the Selection Committee will draw up a list of the most suitable candidates to be proposed to the Appointing Authority. Only candidates receiving at least 70% of the maximum points at interview and at the test phase will be included in the list of the most suitable candidates. The Appointing Authority will select the successful candidate and decide whether to also adopt a reserve list. The successful candidates will be informed accordingly.

All candidates will receive an information letter of the outcome of their application.

Please note that a binding commitment can only be made after verification of all conditions and will take the form of a contract signed by the Executive Director.

The reserve list will remain valid for a period of 1 year following its establishment. Therefore candidates whose name will be put on a reserve list could be offered a contract during this period of time. Please note however that inclusion in the reserve list does not guarantee recruitment.

Please note that the selection process may take several months to be completed and that no information will be released during this period. Once a selection process has been completed, its status will be displayed in the e-recruitment.

Please note that once you have created your EMSA profile, any correspondence regarding your application must be sent or received via your EMSA profile.

For any prior enquiry, please refer to the FAQ (Frequently asked questions) section, or send an e-mail to recruitment@emsa.europa.eu

Requests for information and appeal:

An applicant who would like further information, or considers that he/she has grounds for complaint concerning a particular decision may, at any point in the selection procedure, request further information from the Chairperson of the Selection Committee.
For information on how to lodge a complaint and/or an appeal procedure, please consult the ‘General Information for Recruitment’ overview on our website for more information: