Become an Aircraft Dispatcher
The FAA licensed Aircraft Dispatcher can be described as “the Captain on the ground.” The job of Aircraft Dispatcher is one of the most responsible and best paying jobs at an airline. While the Captain is responsible for his or her one particular flight, the dispatcher is responsible for many flights at the same time. The age requirement of 23 is the same for both the Aircraft Dispatcher and the Airline Transport Pilot Certificate. Furthermore, the questions for the FAA Aircraft Dispatcher Computerized Knowledge Test (ADX) are drawn from the same set of questions used for the ATP test.
The Aircraft Dispatcher shares responsibility for the flight with the Captain, and both are required to sign the Dispatch Release before the flight can legally operate. The dispatcher is responsible for planning the flight, taking into consideration the weather, any maintenance problems on the aircraft, navigational facilities at the appropriate airports, Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS), alternate airports and to exercise flight following while the flight is in progress. The dispatcher maintains communication with his or her flights and is responsible for notifying the Captain of any significant changes that would affect the safety of the flight. It is the responsibility of the dispatcher to delay or cancel a flight when necessary and to make any other operational decisions necessary to ensure the safety of the flight.
Most airlines will have a centrally located dispatch office that controls all flights of that particular airline. As an example, United Airlines’ dispatch office is in Chicago; Delta Air Lines is in Atlanta, and Endeavor Air is located in Minneapolis. The dispatch department has historically been one of the best places in the airlines for promotions. The department has control over the operations of the airline and, consequently, the dispatcher is generally in close contact with the senior officers of the company. The dispatcher has always been a very important individual in the operation of an airline and will certainly continue to be so in the future.
Benefits – Aircraft Dispatcher Employment
(vary, but the list below generally covers many possible benefits)
- Cockpit jumpseat authority
- Reduced-rates or free travel privileges
- Life/health/dental/disability insurance
- Hotel discounts
- Paid/discounted holidays/vacations
- Retirement plans
- Rental car discounts
- Cruise line discounts
- Savings/credit unions
- Stock purchase options