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Tucson International Airport Tucson Airport Authority Ryan Airfield

Airport Communications Specialist

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Under general supervision and administrative direction, works in the Airport Communications Center (ACC), functions independently with the primary responsibility to provide public safety dispatch for emergency and non-emergency events, monitor security and alarms, communicate with individuals and entities that request or require support services from Police, Fire or Emergency Medical Services, and/or airport support services at Tucson International Airport (TUS) and Ryan Airfield (RYN).

Essential Functions: 

The following functions and all other functions not included in this job description are to be performed in the best interests and for the greater good of TAA.

  • Act in multiple Public Safety Communication roles as Call Taker, 9-1-1 Operator, Fire Dispatcher, Police Dispatcher, Data Entry Operator, Central Station Monitor, Central Station Dispatcher, Operations Dispatcher, Maintenance Call Taker and Maintenance Works Dispatcher.
  • Manage emergency and non-emergency contacts, including radio and telephone communications, including TAA departments, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and local agencies and other airport operators.
  • Answer administrative and non-emergency telephone lines, and emergency voice and TTY telephone calls received from the E9-1-1 system and TAA digital PBX.
  • Query callers to determine the nature and location of the situation; extract and record essential information.
  • Dispatch all emergency management communications in accordance with standard operating protocols and procedures to include, and not be limited to, all aircraft alerts to Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) and airport operations personnel; all security-related calls for service to law enforcement personnel, and all medical calls for service to emergency medical services (EMS) personnel.
  • Comply with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations and department policies/procedures in the transmission of all radio communications.
  • Monitor the activities of dispatched units; and, receive and transmit updated information as it is received.
  • Retrieve and accurately relay information to the police field units.
  • Enter all incident data into a Spillman computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system, Arizona Criminal Justice Information System (ACJIS), National Crime Information Center (NCIC); maintain various automated and manual logs; record and file information related to call-taking and dispatching activities; and, provide operational reports; comply with all ACJIS and NCIC regulations and requirements.
  • Retrieve and accurately relay information to airside operations, maintenance and other non-public safety units/departments.
  • Manage and monitor TSA-required Access Control System; monitor the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) system and perform CCTV related tasks; and monitor other TAA security and fire alarm systems.
  • Operate and monitor Emergency Notification System (ENS); test system; make proper notification(s) to airport management and defined user groups.
  • Operate and test communications equipment in accordance with routine procedures.
  • Operate the TAA main switchboard and provide airport information and paging services after normal business hours and on weekends and holidays; provide general information and referrals for ground transportation services, airlines, airport lost and found, and tenant contact information; receive noise complaint calls from the public for TAA’s Noise Abatement Program.
  • Prepare various operational reports; perform other duties as assigned.
  • Be responsive to airport emergencies and situations that may involve loss of human life or property; support public safety and operational response to emergencies; utilize Incident Management System (ICS)/National Incident Management System (NIMS) protocols and procedures; coordinate and/or participate in after-action emergency de-briefing with appropriate departments and stakeholders. 

The above listed functions are not necessarily all the essential functions.  Job duties and functions may be expanded or reduced by management based on future changing needs and job requirements.

Position Requirements: 

A high school diploma or equivalent; U.S. Citizenship, experience in the operation of radio dispatch communication equipment in a police, fire, and/or medical environment (any equivalent combination of training and experience is acceptable); customer service experience.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: 

Knowledge of:

  • Public safety dispatch and security monitoring (manual call-recording and dispatch systems); telephone console, radio console, TTY, teletype, alarms, CCTV; Access Control Systems; Emergency Notifications Systems, and other public safety communications equipment.
  • Practices and procedures in an airport environment, including Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 139 – Airport Operations, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Part 1542; ARFF; law enforcement; TAA jurisdiction, local agencies and Mutual Aid relationships.
  • Principles and practices of customer service.

 Skill in:

  • Verbal and written communication.
  • Critical-thinking and multi-tasking.

 Ability to: 

Environmental Requirements

  • Work in a “closed room” environment, and establish and maintain effective and positive working relationships with department personnel and other TAA personnel. 

Physical Requirements

  • Wear a communications headset for a prolonged period of time.
  • Tolerate long periods of sitting or standing.
  • Hear and understand through both ears, sounds coming through a communications headset, a radio, a standard telephone receiver, or outside sound sources.
  • Distinguish colors by a practical test to differentiate colors and be able to transmit information to public safety responders.
  • Communicate clearly via telephone and radio, with sufficient clarity to be understood by others on the telephone, radio, or in person.
  • Read, write, and speak the English language in an articulate, fluent manner.

 Mental Requirements

  • Perform tasks with a high degree of accuracy, confidentiality, attention to detail and take independent action relative to work problems requiring immediate solutions.
  • Exercise mental and sound judgment in responding to calls, both emergent / non-emergent in nature, dispatching first responders, responding to security events, and coordinating airport operational responses.
  • Be proficient with a variety of computer based systems including, CAD, mapping systems, audio and visual systems, and radio/telephone communications systems.
  • Learn and apply technical knowledge and skills in functional area.
  • Multi-task, monitor and listen to multiple radio channels, simultaneously take phone calls, and maintain room awareness as to what is occurring at other positions in the room that may have relevance to what is occurring at their position.
  • Work under constant time constraints that require fast, efficient and professional abilities to receive and communicate information accurately.
  • Assertively control conversations quickly and accurately, gather pertinent information, and be able to communicate this information professionally and precisely to the proper recipient.
  • Detach from the caller’s emotions, yet project an image of empathy.
  • Remain focused in situations where extreme stress may be involved.
  • Actively listen to others; be able to understand their needs; be able to effectively address their issues.

General Requirements

  • Must be able to type over 40 WPM.
  • Work assigned shifts, including day/evening/weekends/holidays, subject to overtime and on call.
  • Testify in court regarding activities, as required.
  • Use a variety of computer equipment and other office machines.
  • Understand own strengths and weaknesses, to seek input from supervisor and peers about how to improve.
  • Understand that dissemination of information outside of job requirements is based on “need-to-know” and maintain discreet and professional sense of confidentiality due to sensitive nature of job functions.

Licenses; Certificates; Special Requirements:

  • Valid Arizona Drivers’ License.
  • Achieve and maintain State of Arizona Certification for Level A Terminal Operator (ACJIS).
  • Must obtain and maintain access to the Security Identification Display Area (SIDA).
  • Must successfully complete the National Incident Management System (NIMS) 100, 200, 700, and 800 course requirements and certification within the first year of assuming the position.
  • Must successfully complete the APCO Basic Telecommunicator Course within two years of assuming the position.
  • Communications Training Officer (CTO) certification is desired.
  • At times the Airport Communications Specialist may be the ranking person for their assigned shift. When in this position, the Airport Communications Specialist’s primary responsibility is to assist in the efficient and effective operation of the department by ensuring that co-workers’ performance of duties conforms to established rules, regulations, policies and procedures.
  • As an employee, you are deemed to be essential personnel as part of TAA’s emergency response, and must respond to airport incidents, as requested/required.

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Tucson Airport Authority
7250 South Tucson Boulevard, Suite 300
Tucson, AZ 85756
(520) 573-8100