Call for Applications: EMSA/AD/2016/13 - Project Officer for RPAS Operations and ATM

Post: EMSA/AD/2016/13 - Project Officer for RPAS Operations and ATM
Directorate/Unit: Unit C.3 – Maritime Surveillance
Type of post: Temporary agent post
Grade: AD5
Location: Lisbon
Closing date for applications: 13 January 2017

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. Unit C.3 – Maritime Surveillance

This unit has two main activities, namely:

  • Managing the current requirements and potential developments of the maritime information services provided through the Agency to a range of (institutional) users;
  • Managing the sourcing and day-to-day operations of the Earth Observation data contribution from satellites and remotely piloted aircraft systems to the Agency's maritime information outlook.


C.3.1 is responsible for the business management of the current range of maritime information services provided to different user communities. The ongoing development of the services is triggered through liaising with stakeholders, collecting and translating their business/data requirements into functional specifications. Users include EFCA, EUNAVFOR-Atalanta, EUNAVFOR-Sophia, Frontex, MAOC-N and the SafeMed and Tracea Cooperation Programmes.


C.3.2 is responsible for the general sourcing and day-to-day provision of the extensive portfolio of satellite based earth observation data, as derived from Synthetic Aperture Radar and optical satellites, to support the operational requirements of multiple maritime user communities. This section manages CleanSeaNet, the European oil spill detection and monitoring service, as well as the implementation of Copernicus Maritime Surveillance Services as delegated by the Commission to the Agency.


C.3.3 is responsible for the general sourcing and day-to-day provision of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System based data, as derived from imagery and streamed video, to support the operational requirements of multiple maritime user communities. This is a new technical domain and will start with support for oil spill detection and monitoring (CleanSeaNet), ship source emission surveillance (SOx detection) as well as vessel detection. RPAS operational support to other services is under development and will be delivered as of 2017.

4. Functions and Duties

The Project Officer for RPAS (Operations and ATM) will, under the responsibility of the Head of Unit C.3 ‘Maritime Surveillance’ be responsible for managing and performing project management, technical and administrative tasks related to the RPAS services offered by the Agency to Member States.  This will include support to the Agency with questions related to the air traffic management, flight operations, flight permits, certifications of the aircraft, aeronautical products, payload for the RPAS, and applicable safety standards, and with regard to the operation of the RPAS in liaison with the operational users in the Member States. In particular, the main tasks will be: 

  • Assisting EMSA’s contractors with the permit to fly process which will be in collaboration with the Member States requesting the RPAS services;
  • Managing issues such as whether the RPAS contracted by EMSA for maritime surveillance are complying with applicable safety standards and procedures;
  • Drafting of CONOPS and flight plans for long/medium endurance and RPAS operations in cooperation with the users;
  • Supporting the preparation and operation of RPAS in cooperation with national users, flight administrators and industry partners;
  • Ensuring proper execution and timely completion of RPAS operational planning;
  • Developing specifications for RPAS services in the maritime domain;
  • Coordination of operations to ensure their results are in accordance with the project plan, Member States’ needs, and with the respective EU rules and procedures;
  • Preparing documents, such as reports, notes, letters and presentations and minutes of meetings, coordination and management of document flows internally and with external institutions.

5. Eligibility and Selection Criteria


Qualifications and experience required:

A.1 Education:

  • A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies attested by a diploma when the normal period of university education is four years or more, or;
  • A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies attested by a diploma and appropriate professional experience of at least one year when the normal period of university education is at least three years.

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:

  • At least 2 years of work experience in the field of aerial services preferably with RPAS but could also be with piloted aircraft, authorisation of flight operations, aviation safety, or certification;
  • Experience in the operation of aerial services either as pilot or from the ground;
  • Expertise in aviation management, air traffic control/management and the procedures to achieve permits to fly in order to make RPAS operations possible;
  • Experience in working in an international/cross-cultural environment of more than 1 year.

B.2. Advantageous:

  • Extended experience in the operation of aerial services using RPAS;
  • Experience in services in the maritime domain which could include either marine pollution monitoring, vessel emission monitoring and/or maritime surveillance functions;
  • Knowledge in the design and development of RPAS and related sensor technologies (i.e. gas sensors, IR cameras, etc.) or equivalent experience with piloted aircraft;
  • Previous knowledge in managing and working with graphical user interfaces for visualisation of RPAS data either in their development or also adaptation for relevant customers;
  • Knowledge in satellite communications/protocols used for RPAS;
  • Proven experience in project management which could be supported by Prince2 or PMI certifications.

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: 


  • Excellent writing skills in English;
  • Good organisational and co-ordination skills;
  • Ability to work under pressure and respond to changes in a rapidly evolving work environment with tight deadlines;
  • Strong sense of initiative and responsibility;
  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Ability to work independently;
  • 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.

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 RPAS Operations and ATM will be appointed by the Executive Director, upon recommendation of the Chairperson of the Selection Committee.

This vacancy notice concerns a Temporary Agent position, pursuant to Article 2 f) of the Conditions of Employment of other servants of the European Communities.

The offering of a post is subject to EMSA’s Establishment Plan being amended, following the adoption of the amendment to Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a European Maritime Safety Agency.

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

The successful candidate will be recruited in the grade AD 5.

The basic monthly salary, before any deductions or allowances, weighted for Lisbon, at 1 July 2015 for grade AD 5 first step is 3555.77EUR.

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 or second step of the indicated grade, depending on the duration of the acquired professional experience. 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:


Please note that in line with the Staff Regulations recruited candidates shall be required to demonstrate before their first promotion the ability to work in a third European Community language.

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: