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Following a series of person to person contacts over several years a meeting was convened in Brussels on the 12th and the 13th of November 1971.

The meeting agreed that a draft Constitution would be presented to an inaugural Assembly to be held in Frankfurt in October 1972.

Ten countries were represented at the first Assembly, these were:
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Switzerland and United Kingdom

The Federation had come into being with a membership of ten and a course of action was set in motion to make IFATSEA known, and to have as its primary object the recognition of Air Traffic Safety Electronics Personnel, by national and international bodies. It was decided that the achievement of these aims would best be served by producing a journal and seeking the amendment of ICAO Annex 1, 

Ten years after the setting up of IFATSEA, the membership had doubled and the federation was fully recognised as representing the interests of Air Traffic Safety Electronics Personnel by such bodies as, ICAO ‑ ILO and Eurocontrol.

Missing link in Safety chain

The missing of a license was depicted in the nineties by using a safety chain.

Both ATSEP license and certification of ground CNS/ATM is missing in the safety chain.

However, as a per-requisite for requesting a license under ICAO Annex 1, was the development of an ATSEP Training manual, which was completed in 2004. 

In 2004, through ITF, we invited the 35th Assembly to extend Personnel licensing and certification to ATSEPs A35-WP/198.

At the 36th Assembly in 2007, ITF and IFATSEA presented a joint WP on the Personnel Regulation as a tool to support Safety and security in Air Traffic Services A36-WP/210. More details in the REPORT OF THE TECHNICAL COMMISSION ON AGENDA ITEM 30 A36-WP/359

At the 37th Assembly in 2010, IFATSEA put it back on the Agenda Item 45: Next Generation of Aviation Professionals COMPETENCIES AND LICENSES OF AIR TRAFFIC SAFETY ELECTRONIC PERSONNEL (ATSEP) A37-WP/160.

In 2013, during the 38th Session, it is an ICAO member State, Indonesia, proposing to cover also ATSEP by the SARPS of Annex 1  A38-WP/151.

However up to now, licensing of ATSEP is only at national level implemented in some countries.

Mr Petrovic Goran of SMATSA wrote an article “The problem of licensing the ATSEP” in 2016 in The Aviation & Space Journal Year XV N°2 April.