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Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located within the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). The Chief of Unit, Air Operations will be based in Kabul. The Chief of Unit, Air Operations will be responsible for the Aviation Section and will report directly to the Chief, Service Delivery Management.


Within delegated authority, the Chief of Unit, Air Operations will carry out the following duties:

• Manages and supervises the activities of the Aviation Section (includes the Movement Control Unit and the Passenger Booking Office).
• Ensures that air operations are conducted in compliance with the Air Tasking Orders (ATOs), Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), UN directives, Department of Peace Operations (DPO)/Department of Operational Support (DOS) Aviation Manual, UN Aviation Standards for Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Air Transport Operations (UN AVSTADS), UN Aviation Safety Manual, ICAO standards and recommended practices and the host country’s Aeronautical Information Publications (AIPs).
• Supervises the provision of reliable, cost effective and efficient air and surface transport services for the transportation of passengers and cargo (including dangerous goods requiring special handling) and resolves conflicting priorities.
• Uses available resources to plan and periodically exercise aviation support to the execution of Security and Medical plans, including CASEVAC/MEDEVAC, evacuation, relocation, and footprint lightening of UN personnel and to the extent possible, personnel contemplated under the saving lives together framework.
• Attends to all elements related to effectively and efficiently creating and maintaining reasonable levels of redundancy, which serves as the primary justification for maintaining the Mission’s air capacities.
• Collects and analyzes data to identify trends or patterns and provides insights through graphs, charts, tables and reports using data visualization methods to enable data-driven planning, decision-making, presentation and reporting.
• Supervises the aviation risk management for all Section’s activities, reviews and approves recommendations of any mitigating measures that allow aircraft flying into medium, high or extremely high threat areas before being presented to senior management for authorization.
• Provides technical advice to the Security, Substantive and Support elements of the Mission on all aspects of UN aviation and movement control activities.
• Maintains regular contact and good collaboration with other organizations, including WFP/UNHAS, providing humanitarian support in the area of operations, with a view to maximizing efficiencies and safety.
• Supervises the preparation of operational plans, performance reports and responses to internal and external requests for information, audit observations etc.
• Supervises the development and implementation of the applicable SOPs.
• Monitors that quality control procedures are implemented for all work processes
• Monitors the accuracy and validity of data recorded in the Aviation Information Management Suite (AIMS).
• Develops, in consultation with the Chief, Service Delivery Management and/or Chief of Mission Support, a cost-effective and efficient air and surface transport plans accessing the modalities of different types of assets in operational terms.
• Evaluates services rendered to the Mission under long-term aircraft charter agreements, stand-by aircraft charter agreements, freight forwarding services, ground handling contracts, and other applicable contracts.
• Develops budget proposals for the Mission’s air transport and movement control operations and reports on the budgetary performance of the Section at the end of each financial period.
• Coordinates the requisition process with purchasing authorities to ensure that bidding and approval activities meet the requirements.
• Determines technical specifications for air and surface transport services and develops statements of work/requirements.
• Provides responses to UNHQ during the vendor’s evaluation process to ensure that vendor’s proposals meet technical requirements.
• Acts as a Certifying Officer for the aviation and movement control activities with the overall responsibility for the efficient use and accurate accounting of all resources controlled and all expenditures made by the Section.
• Monitors that UN financial regulations and rules are complied with in all activities of the Section.
• Participates in various administrative bodies such as the Local Committee on Contracts, the Tenders Committee, the Local Property Survey Board and Boards of Inquiry.
• Participates, in collaboration with insurance specialists, in resolving problems related to insurance policies for air transport services.
• Develops Aviation and Movement Control Staffing Table and acts as a Line Manager to Sub-Unit Managers.
• Manages the allocation and rotation of appropriate work assignments. Coordinates individual work plans for unit supervisors and produces performance assessments and evaluations for all staff in a capacity of a First Reporting Officer or a Second Reporting Officer, as required.
• Supervises the development of training courses, workshops and other related training activities and coordinates them with UNHQ. Develops and implements the Aviation and Movement Control Section’s Training Plan.
• Performs other related duties as required.


Professionalism: Advanced technical qualifications, including authoritative knowledge and wide exposure to the full range of fixed wing and helicopter air operations and aviation safety issues; ability to advise senior management and other senior officials on approaches and techniques related to highly complex/sensitive issues; recognized expertise in the field; demonstrated capacity for intellectual leadership and ability to integrate knowledge with broader strategic, policy and operational objectives and translate them into a results-oriented work program; ability to comprehend and reconcile the diverse features of air operations, to plan and develop a unified aviation system, to meet the needs of the Mission, to recognize the capabilities of the various aircraft and determine the most advantageous mode of shipment in terms of safety, cost-efficiency, and effectiveness; demonstrates original and creative thinking, independent judgment and discretion in advising on and handling major policy, project and other issues/problems; strong negotiating skills and ability to influence others to reach agreement on difficult issues, contracts and assistance agreements with aviation contractors, vendors, national government representatives and others; excellent knowledge of institutional mandates, policies and guidelines pertaining to air operations and related matters. Shows pride in work and in achievements; Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations; Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

Planning and Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; Identifies priority activities and assignments and adjusts priorities as required; Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; Uses time efficiently.

Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; Operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; Supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; Takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.

Managing Performance:
Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; Makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; Accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; Monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; Regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; Encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; Actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; Appraises performance fairly.

Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; Gathers relevant information before making a decision; Considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; Takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; Proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; Checks assumptions against facts; Determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; Makes tough decisions when necessary.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in Air Transportation/Aviation Management, Aviation Safety Management, Aerospace/Aeronautical Engineering, or graduation from an equivalent military educational establishment is required.
A first level university degree with a relevant combination of education, professional training, certification in air transport operations, and two (2) additional years of work experience in air transport related occupation, may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Job – Specific Qualification

An Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) or its military equivalent is desirable.

Training and certification as a Commercial Pilot or a Flight Operations Officer/Flight Dispatcher, or an equivalent military qualification is required.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience in air transport operations or aviation safety, with at least five (5) years of managerial experience on a position directly related to the coordination of complex air transport operations in the international environment is required.

Experience monitoring long and short-term aircraft charter operations is required.

Experience in managing Aviation and Movement Control operations is desirable.

Experience in planning, managing air transport operations in a complex, volatile, conflict or post-conflict settings is desirable.

Experience in the use of ICAO standards and recommended practices is desirable.

Experience in international operations in a post conflict environment is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position(s) advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.


Previously rostered candidates are not subject to any further assessment and as such, will not be invited for such an assessment.

Special Notice

This “Recruit from Roster” job opening is only open to roster applicants who are already placed on pre-approved rosters, following a review by a United Nations Central Review Body. Only roster applicants who were placed on rosters with similar functions at the same level are considered to be eligible candidates. Eligible applicants receive an email inviting them to apply. Rostered applicants are encouraged to apply only if they are interested and available to take up the position at the duty station/s specified in the Job Opening. Applying to this job opening carries an expectation to accept the offer, if selected.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline

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