Flight Dispatcher Job Description
A flight dispatcher is a person who shares joint responsibility for the safety and operational control of a flight with the pilot-in-command. Fight dispatchers play a very important role in the air transport industry, as they are the only ones in an airline company that can authorize the delay or cancelation of scheduled flights.
Before a plane takes off, the flight dispatcher reviews and evaluates weather charts and information to determine the safety of the potential flight and to select the preferred and most economical route to fly. They also calculate the amount of fuel that will be enough for the flight, and once they and the pilot-in-command agree that the flight can be completed safely, they will both sign a dispatch release to release the plane for flight.
After the plane takes off, the flight dispatcher monitors the flight's progress using sophisticated computer systems to update and advice the pilot on changes in weather conditions and other arising issues that might affect the safety of the flight and to ensure that the flight is operated in compliance with government and company regulations.
A flight dispatcher should be well organized, analytical, detail-oriented, safety-conscious, confident and calm, and have the ability to make excellent decisions quickly and communicate them clearly. They should be able to work in a team, cope with several tasks at once and maintain good focus for long periods of time.
What does a Flight Dispatcher do?
Flight dispatchers may do some or all of the following:
- work with pilots to plans flights
- calculate the necessary amount of fuel for a flight
- check weather conditions and know what weather pattern to expect during the flight
- ensure that aviation authority law and regulation are complied with
- prepare and sign a flight dispatch release
- update the pilot on significant changes in weather conditions and recommend flight plan alternatives, if necessary
- delay or cancel flights if unsafe conditions threaten the safety of the flights
- write reports and disseminate flight information to stations and reservations
Where does a Flight Dispatcher work?
Flight Dispatchers may work indoors in fight dispatch or airline operations control units of airline companies. They usually work shifts that include evening, nights, weekends and holidays.
What is Required to Become a Flight Dispatcher ?
To become a flight dispatcher, you will need to complete an aircraft dispatcher training program at an aviation school. The minimum educational requirement to be admitted into the program is a certificate of secondary education.
Just to give you an idea, some of the classes that you’ll be taking in an aviation school may include:
- Conceptual physics
- Aviation meteorology
- Private pilot ground school
- Aviation regulations
- Aircraft systems
- Dispatch procedures
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes
Flight dispatchers need to have:
- self motivation
- confidence and assertiveness
- good memory
- good attention to detail
- good listening and communication skills
- good judgment and decision making skills
- analytical and problem solving skills
- monitoring skills
- multitasking skills
- math and computer skills
- time management and organizational skills
- the ability to remain calm under pressure
- the ability to work well in a team
- the ability to maintain focus for long periods
- the ability to accept and respond well to criticism
- knowledge of aviation meteorology
- knowledge of computer and electronics systems
- knowledge of aircraft systems
- knowledge of aviation policies and regulations
- knowledge of flight planning procedures
- knowledge of technical flying terms
Should I be a Flight Dispatcher ?
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