Become an Aircraft Dispatcher

Introduction

Aircraft Dispatcher Delta OCC

Sheffield graduate Kerry Jones at work in the Delta Ops Center

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.

Job Description

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.

A view inside Endeavor Air's Operational Control Center

A view inside Endeavor Air’s Operational Control Center

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

 

A view inside Endeavor Air's Operational Control Center Aircraft dispatcher desk

The Airline Dispatcher’s typical view

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  • Testimonials

    “Sheffield School of Aeronautics is a highly recognized and respected organization throughout the airline industry. They only produce the highest quality of graduate…” P.W. Sidebar PW
    “These men represented the highest caliber of professionalism and integrity. The education I received from these gentleman has afforded me to be gainfully employed while having the opportunity to use the education received, all over this country, and more than a few others.” WG sidebar wg
    “I wanted to tell you I got the job offer from Expressjet, and start next month! I think a couple others from class were hired as well. It just shows the Sheffield reputation when I see graduates from other schools complaining that they can’t get an interview – I wasn’t even back home to Minneapolis […] Dan Gustafson
    “I am a month into my new job at a airline coming out of reorganization, and am helping the training department by referencing the excellent and up to date course book provided to all Sheffield grads.” RW RW
    “I am a graduate of the Sheffield’s Dispatcher Program. I have been a Captain-Part 121 Airline, Certified Flight/Grnd Instructor, and FAA Designated Check Airman and Sim Instructor (Part 121). From my experience I would rate Sheffield School as outstanding in their field.” PT PT
    “While touring my company’s dispatch department before I had my license our OCC manager pointed out that 7 of the 10 dispatchers on shift had come from Sheffield. The overall consensus was that Sheffield grads were able to hit the ground running as they were better prepared.” K.O. Sidebar K.O.
    “After receiving my certificate, I joined a class of 4 experienced dispatchers for Part 121 initial training. Without experience, my preparation at Sheffield enabled me to become active at the same time after the initial training.” PR PR
    “As a graduate of Sheffield School of Aeronautics I am a firm believer that I received the most thorough and well thought out aircraft dispatcher training available. I owe my position in the industry to Sheffield School of Aeronautics.” BF Sidebar BF
    “Eric Morris is one of the most if not the most knowledgeable and experienced authorities on Aircraft Dispatching in the United States. He strives constantly to make the industry better.” DH sidebar DH
    “Sheffield School of Aeronautics is known worldwide for its quality training and has been recommended to me by our national airline Swiss International Airlines. Whenever I mention the name ‘Sheffield’ it rings a bell in people’s ears.” IW IW
    “Their reputation of excellence amongst the industry is second to none. Sheffield School of Aeronautics should be seen as the standard of how it can be done and how it should be done. I was hired at a major airline with no dispatch experience.” A.Z. Sidebar AZ
    “Going to Sheffield prepared me for the real world challenges of Aircraft Dispatching. I certainly believe that the method Sheffield used is one not only for success in a real world career, but also one that prepares students to correctly dispatch aircraft.” T.Z. Sidebar TZ
    “My experience at Sheffield and my exposure to other aircraft dispatchers that did not go to Sheffield has resulted in an awareness of the superior depth and quality of the training provided by the Sheffield instructors.” CD Sidebar CD
    “As a graduate of the aircraft dispatcher program at the Sheffield School of Aeronautics…My training was intense and thorough and furnished me with the requisite skills for performing my current job as a Flight Dispatch Supervisor.” N.S. Sidebar NS
    “I entered my profession, with more knowledge and information than dispatchers who have been practicing their craft for more than ten years. Not only has Sheffield provided a top notch education, but they have also instilled in me the confidence to succeed.” A.Z. Sidebar AZ
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