At a time of increasing complexity of the air traffic system, it is important to minimise the risk arising from technical and engineered systems, and to ensure their correct functioning. The term “Air Traffic Safety Electronic Personnel” (ATSEP) has been developed to describe those technical specialists working to support the technical ATM services.

NATS has been at the forefront of the development of the ATSEP scheme and now offers the same high level training used to train our own in-house staff either by individual courses or as part of a full programme of Basic and Qualification courses.


NATS, as the largest UK ANSP, provides engineering maintenance for Radio Navigation Aids at all the major UK airports.


We have a wealth of engineering expertise to maintain these systems, all of which stems from the underpinning knowledge our engineers gain by attending a navigation qualification course prior to the system and equipment training courses.

The engineering students attending the Radio Navigation Aids course will explore the following areas:

Navigation Concepts

Navigation Concepts examines the requirements of the performance of a navigation system as well as defining the aspects of Required Navigation Performance (RNP) and Area Navigation concept (RNAV – Basic (B-RNAV) and Precision (P-RNAV)

Ground Based En-route and terminal Navigation Aids

Describes the operation and general architecture of Non-Directional Beacons (NDB), VHF Direction Finding (VDF), VHF Omni Range (CVOR and DVOR), Distance Measuring Equipment (DME), Instrument landing system (ILS) and Microwave Landing System (MLS).

This will encompass the principles of operation, regulatory requirements, use of the system, ground station architecture, transmitter/receiver architecture, appropriate aircraft on-board systems and displays and the compliance with standards for these equipments.

Satellite Based Navigation Systems

This unit discovers the principles of providing a satellite based navigation system utilising Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS1), Global Positioning System (GPS), Global Orbiting Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) and the GALILEO System.

Students will also learn about the concepts of Ground Based Augmentation Systems (GBAS), Space/Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) and Aircraft Based Augmentation Systems (ABAS).

Improvements to systems by the introduction of GNSS2 and modernised GPS will be explored.

On Board Navigation Architecture

This area looks at the current sensors, Human Machine Interface (HMI), Flight Management System (FMS) and navigation database principles in current general usage.

Display Systems

Display Systems describes typical aircraft instrumentation such as the Horizontal situation Indicator (HSI), Navigation Display (ND) and Primary Flight Display (PFD)

Inertial Navigation

This area investigates the principles and key features of Inertial Navigation.

Vertical Navigation

Identifies and defines key elements of Barometry and Radio Altimetry. Terminology such as QFE, QNH and RVSM is explained as well as the links to SSR Mode C and Mode S.


ATSEP Basic training or equivalent proven knowledge and experience.


Five days


NATS Radio Navigation Aids Training Facility, Highfield Park, UK

Contact us

Please contact us if you have any questions about the contents of this course or are interested in attending it.

  • By completing this form, you are consenting to NATS holding your personal information. For further details on how NATS manages your personal information please see our privacy notice.

Connect with us

You can also follow us on our Social Media channels:


Please start typing and we will search our website for you.

Search Results