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National Apprenticeship Week – Keeping the lights on. Safely.

ANSL is passionate about teamwork and nourishing new talent. So, to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, we are delighted to share some insights provided by our fresh talent in the Edinburgh ANSL team.

James McCann and Matthew Hay joined ANSL as Apprentice Engineers. Now, they have recently passed their qualifications to become Air Traffic Engineers or as international terminology refers to them as: ATSEP. We sat down with James and Matthew to find out a little more about their interests in aviation, their experience, and their responsibilities during the first few months of the role.

Hi James, could you tell us a little more about your role and what sparked your interest in working in aviation?

James: I am an ATSEP, which stands for Air Traffic Safety Electronics Personnel. The main requirement of my role is to safely maintain and support the systems relating to air traffic services.  This involves providing day-to-day support to the communications, navigation and surveillance (CNS) systems, as well as supporting the maintenance of the UFA Simulator that we have on-site at Edinburgh Airport. Since starting at ANSL it has been great to hit the ground running and get heavily involved in project work, including system replacements.

I always knew that I wanted to work in engineering, so I had an open mind about the different industries I would be working in. I was introduced to aviation when I was enrolled at Forth Valley College and I have loved exploring the industry throughout my career journey.

What about you, Matthew?  Why did you decide to train as an Air Traffic Engineer?

Matthew Hay is one of ANSL's recent ATSEP Apprenticeship Graduates
Matthew Hay working on site at Gloucestershire Airport.

Matthew: I originally trained as an Oil and Gas Measurement and Control Technician, but I then considered the wider opportunities associated with working in air traffic. I have been interested in working in aviation since taking part in an airport tour as a part of my pre-apprentice scheme. The uniqueness of the role and working as a part of a smaller team have kept me engaged in aviation.

So, why ANSL?


ANSL is a relatively new company which is already making an impact across so many different projects in the aviation sector. They’ve given me the opportunity to gain great experience both at Edinburgh and at other sites around the UK.


ANSL has already demonstrated that there is no limit to the opportunities or areas of work available to us across sites. This year alone, I have installed new IRVR (Instrumented Runway Visual Range) equipment in Kirkwall, as well as supporting the installation of innovative surveillance sensors around Scotland for our drone integration work. This surveillance equipment is being used to map GA (general aviation) traffic to allow drone BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) activity to take place safely. Additionally, I have also been providing short-term engineering cover at Gloucestershire Airport under ANSL.

What key learnings did you both take away from the training?


Two topics that were highlighted throughout every stage of my training with ANSL included: stopping to think about the level of impact a task could have on service, and how to minimise risk. These are in addition to always ensuring that safety is maintained while communicating important details to all team members about the project.

James McCann, ANSL ATSEP Apprenticeship Graduate
James McCann is one of ANSL’s recent ATSEP Apprenticeship Graduates.


I’ve learned so much during my time at ANSL so far, both through training courses and on-the-job training. A key learning point for me, which is also one of ANSL’s main values, is safety. This is something that always needs to be considered before, during and after anything that you do.

Thank you both for your insights and welcome on board the ANSL team!

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