Sheffield School of Aeronautics Blog

Future Pilot Shortage Will Lead to Self-Flying Planes

We’ve heard of self-driving cars and the advancement that companies like Tesla Motors have made that have the auto industry buzzing. The first industry to really make an impact in self-driving cars is likely to be ride sharing apps like Uber and Lyft. But what about self-flying planes?

Unlike self-driving cars, self-flying planes will be borne of necessity, not convenience or advancement. Airline jobs continue to grow throughout the United States and aircraft dispatcher schools like Sheffield School of Aeronautics are training thousands of dedicated, career oriented people to join the airline industry as dispatchers. Air travel is increasing but available pilots are not. Instead, pilots are becoming increasingly harder to find.

The solution may come in the form of self-flying planes. Boeing is currently exploring the option of self-flying planes. The aviation company plans to test a certain element of a self-flying plane in a manned plane as early as summer 2018.

Any dispatcher can attest that most planning and execution of flight plans is performed before takeoff, during takeoff; as well as before landing and after landing. The bulk of the work is aimed at the fringes of the travel timeline and a lot of study at our aircraft dispatcher school focuses on those areas.

The auto-pilot does most of the actual flying, says Boeing. So, is it not the next logical step to go full auto-pilot, a self-flying plane?

What would change?

Most airline jobs would see slight changes. Aircraft dispatchers might enter code directly into flight AI, flight engineers may take on a programmer’s role etc.

For passengers, trust is a major factor. There are certain things people are comfortable allowing machines to control, however a switch from piloted to self-flying planes will be difficult for airline marketing departments to explain. We may very well see decades of self-flying planes manned by watchful pilots before a real switch is made.


Common Planes Aircraft Dispatchers See Everyday

Which Planes do Aircraft Dispatchers See the Most?

As an aircraft dispatcher, it is essential to stay up-to-date with the most commonly seen planes in the industry today. Sheffield School of Aeronautics shares the most common plans so you can know what to expect.

In order to recognize which planes aircraft dispatchers see the most, it is important to establish the planes that commercial companies purchase the most of, for those will be the most prevalent in the airports.

Of the U.S. commercial aircraft industry’s inventory, the most common manufacturers are Boeing, Airbus and Bombardier. However, there is a huge market leader, and that is Boeing. Roughly 41 percent of aircrafts are manufactured by Boeing, 17 percent by Airbus and 15 percent by Bombardier.

The most common planes that are commercially flown, and seen by dispatchers, are as follows:

  1. Boeing 737-800
  2. Boeing 757-200
  3. Boeing 737-700
  4. Airbus A320-200
  5. Bombardier CRJ200

As it is important to recognize each plane, the easiest way to distinguish between various planes is to focus on these three details:

  1. The Nose
  2. Engine Inlet Shape
  3. Tail Fin Shape

As Sheffield’s mission is to provide real-world training and leading aircraft dispatchers, it is important to keep everyone informed on the latest and most commonly seen planes that aircraft dispatchers can expect to see daily.

Ready to start your dispatcher training? Call Sheffield School of Aeronautics today for flight dispatcher courses from the world’s oldest & most reputable aircraft dispatcher school.


Congress Is Pushing Airlines to Adjust their Policy

Airline executives faced lawmakers’ questions during a Congressional hearing in early July, in light of the violent passenger removal from an overbooked United Airlines flight which provoked national outrage. President Donald Trump has been pushing to change up airline regulation which Republicans claim has affected business growth. After the Airline Deregulation Act in 1978, flight travel became more affordable for Americans as the government no longer had control over the ticket sales and routes, but airlines have been forced to come up with new and innovative ways to bridge the gap of lost income. 

United Airlines reached a settlement with Dr. Dao after the release of a viral video showing law enforcement removing him from a plane after he had already been seated. They have changed their policies in response to the incident offering passengers up to $10,000 to give up their seats and reducing overbooked flights. United has also stated their commitment to avoid calling law enforcement if there is an overbooked flight.  Other airlines have followed suit such as Southwest airlines ending over-bookings altogether.

Congress is looking for specific actions from airlines on how they will continue to prevent future incidents similar to the one on United Airlines. They are asking for more transparency with fares and may also require transparency with baggage fees with a quoted fare. The U.S. Senate will hold a separate hearing later in July. President Trump has not commented on whether he feels the need for different airline regulation, although he is adamant about changing current regulation.  If customer service does not improve on airlines, there may be new legislation for airline regulation. 

For real world training and career networking in the aviation industry, call Sheffield School of Aeronautics today.


How the Aviation Industry Will Influence the New National Space Council

With President Trump reestablishing the National Space Council – which had been defunct since President Bill Clinton took office in 1993 – there will be many companies joining the US’s new 21st century space race. Two of the biggest names on that list are well-established aviation giants, Lockheed Martin and Boeing, under their joint space venture, United Launch Alliance (or ULA). ULA are currently NASA’s prime contractors developing a deep-space rocket – known as the Space Launch System rocket or SLS – intended to take astronauts to the moon and beyond, including the reaffirmed commitment to putting Americans on Mars. Because of this new vigor being put into space aviation, American aviation companies will be at the forefront of American policy regarding space travel.

While the newer commercial aerospace companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin will also be working to launch rockets into space, the National Space Council and NASA are working with not just ULA, but subcontractors like Futuramic Tool & Engineering Company, AMRO Fabricating Corporation, and Cain Tubular Products, just to name a few. When the president officially relaunched the National Space Council at the end of June, representatives from these longtime aviation industry staples were present. With so many aviation industry titans behind the National Space Council, they will turn to their own industry’s talent to train and staff for these new spacecrafts. If you are looking to join the great expanse, Sheffield School of Aeronautics can give you the tools you need to make your own place in the stars.


Drones in the Aviation Industry

There is no secret that drones are technology’s latest trend, and the aviation industry needs to be careful with sharing the sky. Drones must compete for space in an already crowded commercial sky and there can be many risks associated to this. The danger of crashing into a commercial flight is a real threat, and it has recently been reported that drones have come real close to planes coming in and out of London’s Heathrow Airport, and the pilots could identify the color of the smaller flying object.

With this danger so evident, there have been steps taken by aircraft dispatchers and other flight crew to figure out the precise location of a drone with fully equipped technology that is similar to what a commercial plane contains. These transponders help air traffic controllers track where planes are located always. Michael Huerta, an FAA administrator, stated that identification is one of the highest priorities right now. While he believes that automated systems hold great promise, there needs to be a plan put in place when the systems fail.

The aviation industry has been able to log 850,000 drones since the FAA opened a registry specifically for drones flown in the United States in the last 18 months. The standards for what technology drones should use to be identified will be constantly evolving as the aviation industry flourishes.

Aviation Industry Soars in Miami

Miami’s natural growth as a popular international destination has allowed aviation and aerospace companies to grow to over 480 today in Miami. This is great news for industry-sector jobs and this development will benefit anyone looking to become a pilot, air-traffic controller, or aircraft dispatcher. This also resulted in an increase of average aviation industry salaries from $60,491 to $82,811.

Miami competes with other large cities for aviation business and the city offers many services in a single location. These services include overhaul and maintenance, distribution, and aviation and aerospace training. Sheffield School of Aeronautics, offers extensive and proper training programs for anyone looking to join the aviation industry. 

Not only is aviation growing in Miami, but it can be seen as a multi-billion-dollar industry in Broward County. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is Broward’s main hub and employs over 12,000 people. The rise in this industry is great news for all who are interested in starting a fulfilling career in aviation.

While jobs and salaries are increasing, the quality of flight training programs are expanding rapidly in these areas. The pilots who come here for exclusive training have a huge impact on the local economy. Both Fort Lauderdale and Miami want to keep this expansion growing and there is no doubt the aviation industry is here to stay.

How Aircraft Dispatchers Deal with Day Shift to Night Shift Transition

An aircraft dispatcher job requires long hour shifts and the transition from the day shift to the night shift can feel stressful. The adjustment to your sleeping schedule takes some getting used to, but Sheffield, an aircraft dispatch school, knows just how to make your life easier. If you are a newly aircraft dispatcher going through this process, follow these tips for ways on dealing with the change.

Reduce Distractions– When you go from sleeping at night to the daytime, there can be a lot of distractions that disrupt your routine. Turning your phone on sleep mode and investing in blackout curtains are perfect solutions to minimizing your distractions during a daytime sleep when most people are awake.

Create a new routine– You will want to restructure your routine for your new aircraft dispatcher job hours. This includes changing your eating schedule as well as finding time for physical exercise. You are on a completely different schedule than most people, so it’s important to squeeze in some time to hang out with friends and family when you can.

Strong lighting– By making sure your workspace includes a lot of light, this will ensure the best nighttime productivity and alertness. You want to be sharp and on your best game while working, so a lot of light will help you from sleeping on the job in the beginning of the transition.

Resources FFA Dispatchers Use to Find Jobs

The process of finding a job for recent graduates can seem daunting and it’s important to be able to locate resources when searching. The best way to start your career as a flight dispatcher is to graduate from a highly-qualified dispatching training school that is recognized by top airlines. Relationships and networking can go a long way when landing a job and the aviation industry realizes this. These tips for flight dispatchers below will guide you to landing your dream job.

Once you have become a certified flight dispatcher, it is time to start networking and utilizing job posting websites. Social media and LinkedIn are excellent resources for locating postings that fit your job needs. Finding online resources such as articles about the aviation industry will guide you in the right direction about who to contact.

If you are a graduate from Sheffield School of Aeronautics, then finding a job will be a breeze. Our job postings page is open to your full access upon graduation and we point you to opportunities with exclusive advantages.

Sheffield’s School of Aeronautics has long-lasting relationships with many of the top airlines benefiting our students right after graduation. Students should take full advantage of the job postings offered upon certification to ensure a smooth transition.

Pilots, Traffic Controllers and Aircraft Dispatchers Texting Each Other?

The airline industry is certainly not behind on the times. Pilots, air traffic controllers, and aircraft dispatchers have begun communicating in a very different, yet modern way. The art of texting has officially made it into the friendly skies. Will there be texting and flying laws for these sky buses? Well, it’s not that kind of texting.  

We aren’t talking about emoji’s, memes, and the occasional “lol”. Nope, communication between the pilots, ATC, and aircraft dispatchers is changing from traditional radio into a text-based system.

The system, known as FAA Data Communications, is federally funded and is slow-out-the-gate in terms of implementation. So far, only aircraft that have been equipped with the right tools can take advantage of this new feature.

So far, it has generally been used for takeoff and clearance instructions between air traffic controllers and flight crew. Text messages are sent directly to the flight crew, who can then respond with a receipt notifying the sender that the message has been read.

Aircraft dispatchers will likely join the trend as more planes are equipped with these features.

Everyone agrees that the system is much safer than radio communication. Written clearance and instruction can be followed more closely and there’s less chance for human error.

The most common error in the traditional radio communication is mishearing numbers. Additionally, voice clearance takes much longer than text clearance, faster landing and takeoff times will likely safe airlines millions of dollars long-term.

The system is not ready for wide-spread distribution yet because there are not enough contingency plans and backup equipment to ensure that flights will remain safe if FAA Data Communications goes offline.

How Difficult is Aircraft Dispatcher School?

For over 50 years, Sheffield School of Aeronautics has prepared thousands of men and women to take responsibility for the safety and security of aircraft all over the world. So, what do we do at our aircraft dispatcher school?

We turn aviation enthusiasts into aviation experts that can manage multiple flights while monitoring weather patterns and fuel and strictly adhering to FAA rules and regulations. We take passion and make it profession. We make the skies a little safer every day.

Discussing how difficult aircraft dispatcher school is can be tricky. For simplicity, we’ll break it down into the three most important parts: students, courses, and schools.

Every student is different and some will struggle with aspects of the aircraft dispatcher course that other students will not. After years of aircraft dispatcher training, we have noticed that students who have certain characteristics are more likely to graduate from aircraft dispatcher school, get certified, and find a job.

Persistence, commitment, and organization are all characteristics of successful aircraft dispatchers.

Aircraft dispatcher courses come in all shapes and sizes, like the following:

5 Week Course

3 Week Course

2 Week Course

Sheffield’s Online Aircraft Dispatcher Course

Each student should be aware of own their strengths and weaknesses. The online course is much more difficult simply because students must hold themselves accountable.

Finally, each aircraft dispatcher school will hold students to varied standards. There are schools in the industry that do everything in their power to graduate and certify students to turn as much of a profit as possible.

These schools are doing a disservice to aircraft dispatchers. When it comes time to interview for a job, not only will these dispatchers not be prepared, but the reputation of the school they are coming from will harm their chances of landing the job.

Be wary, keeping studying, and remain passionate! We’ll see you next semester!

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