Sheffield School of Aeronautics Blog

Privatization of US Air Traffic Control Systems

Ask any aircraft dispatcher and they’ll tell you that aviation in the US is a large, regulation-heavy industry that can be slow to change. One of the more outdated systems in the US aviation industry is the air traffic control system. However, it may be in line for an overhaul in terms of regulation and aircraft dispatcher jobs.

Major airlines are urging President Trump to allow for the privatization of the US air traffic control system. The shift would take control away from the FAA (which has run the system since 1958) and allow a private company, or companies, to create a better alternative. What does this have to do with aircraft dispatchers, and how will it affect aircraft dispatcher jobs?

A change of this magnitude will ultimately affect the entire aviation industry as a whole, and although aircraft dispatchers may not feel the difference immediately, it will certainly ripple outwards.

Possible changes for aircraft dispatchers:

  • Change in overall communication between aircraft dispatchers, air traffic controllers and pilots.
  • It may set a precedent for the privatization of other systems; thus, changing systems that aircraft dispatchers use every day.
  • It may change regulation in the future, which would affect aircraft dispatch schools and the way that aircraft dispatcher jobs are carried out daily.

President Trump has been enacting major, seeping changes in regulations in the first weeks of his appointment. The “Big Three” (American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines) are meeting with the president this month to discuss ways to get Americans to fly major airlines overseas instead of foreign carriers.

It’s unknown whether the privatization of the air traffic controller system was mentioned, though it would not be a stretch to think it was.

Future Demand for Aviation Jobs Puts Pressure on Industry

Aircraft dispatcher jobs are amongst the projected high-demand jobs in the aviation industry in coming years. The issue is that current projections point to a higher demand for aviation jobs than supply. This is good news from students attending, or hoping to attend, aircraft dispatcher school. However, it is worrying to aviation industry higher-ups.

Across college campuses, aviation industry representatives are attempting to recruit the next aviation engineers, aircraft dispatchers, and pilots.

Unfortunately, retirement may be a slight problem. The number of airline jobs, like flight engineers that will soon become available, cannot be satisfied with the low and slow entry-level rate. There simply aren’t enough graduates in the field to take these jobs.

This quote from the Aviation Pros website says it all:

“Across the country, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics counted about 139,000 aircraft mechanics and technicians — 77 percent over the age of 50, and less than 2 percent under the age of 30.”

There is an obvious advantage to higher demand and lower supply, and that advantage is going to be in favor of aircraft dispatchers. Those who attend aircraft dispatcher school are in a better place to negotiate their starting salary as they take their pick of all the aircraft dispatcher jobs that are available.

Sheffield School of Aeronautics is an aircraft dispatcher school that has a long-standing relationship with all major airlines. Dispatchers who graduate from Sheffield have access to a job posting board with all the details regarding aircraft dispatcher jobs in the United States.

Be a part of the next generation of aviation experts!

Better Communication Between Aircraft Dispatchers and Pilots

Communication between aircraft dispatchers, pilots, and air traffic controllers has always been a priority in the aviation industry. Almost all success for the flight is in the aviation industry, because almost all success for the flight depends on that communication.

It’s probably easy to imagine how changing weather patterns, labored voice communication, and three different departments can be difficult to deal with in a quick moment, especially because the main priority in an aircraft dispatcher job is to be as precise as possible.

The problem now is that communication between all three – the aircraft dispatchers, the air traffic controllers and the pilots – is slightly outdated and it can be slow. One major snag in the communication comes when flight paths change.

Aircraft dispatchers can attest to the fact that the weather can be frustrating, and it’s a real variable in day to day life of those with aircraft dispatcher jobs. When an air traffic controller reroutes an aircraft, the pilot must make note of the changes and verify the information with the aircraft dispatcher.

This slow process often delays flights; however, Data Comm is going to change that.

Data Comm allows for changes in flight plan to arrive immediately.  Communication regarding these changes in flight plan can be transmitted directly to aircraft dispatchers and pilots.

Because all the small delays add up, the decrease in delays will save the airline industry billions of dollars over the next few decades.

Data Comm has already rolled out. Aircraft dispatchers should expect to see more of it in the coming years.

Aircraft Dispatcher Hubs Across the World

One of the requirements of accepting an aircraft dispatcher job is moving to the airline’s headquarters. Each airline in the world has its own aircraft dispatcher hub, a city that airline calls home and sets up headquarters. 

Though there are many aircraft dispatcher hubs that airlines use as main points in flights paths, there is only one airline hub that is also named headquarters. The headquarters is where you will be performing your duties outlined when you accepted your aircraft dispatcher job.  

Delta Airlines – Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta, Georgia  

American Airlines – Dallas Fort Worth Airport in Dallas, Texas 

United Airlines – O’Hare Airport in Chicago, Illinois 

Southwest Airlines – Dallas Love Field Airport in Dallas, Texas 

Air France – Tremblay-en-France, France 

British Airways – Harmondsworth, United Kingdom 

South African Airways – Johannesburg, South Africa  

Emirates AirlinesDubai, United Arab Emirates 

Singapore Airlines – Singapore, Malaysia 

Turkish Airlines – Instanbul, Turkey 

Though aircraft dispatcher jobs offer to new graduates will most likely not be to any of the major airlines, if you accept a job from a major airline you will have to move to the airline’s headquarters.  

Aircraft dispatcher jobs require access to the airline’s systems, which requires going to the specific location. Having multiple location all over the world would just not make sense logistically, so this is not going to change any time soon. 

The good news is that, unless you make the decision, you will probably never have to move again. Job security in the aviation industry is strong, and the demand for aircraft dispatchers will be increasing over the next few years, so stability and security will be easy to come by. 

Airfares Declining and Uber of the Skies? Hello 2017

The Aviation industry seems to have slipped into a wormhole and landed in an alternate universe known as 2017. Aircraft dispatching is safe, for now, but it seems not much else is.  

We will give you the good news first:  

Airfares are going to decline even further this year. Sheffield has covered topics such as airfare declination last year. Again, it seems that all aviation experts and big airlines are doing just that for the third year in a row: airfares are declining. This poses no threat to the aircraft dispatching industry or aviation jobs, because demand for skilled aviation experts is increasing. 

The strange part is that even the cheap airlines are getting cheaper. A new class, called Basic Economy, is due to roll out soon. Tickets will be cheaper; however, some benefits will be lost. For example, no carry on luggage is permitted, and there will be no option to cancel or reschedule flights. 

Now, onto the strange new: 

Uber, the ride-sharing app that has taken the world by storm and the bane of taxi drivers everywhere, has announced a flight-sharing future. 

You may be quick to think it will have something to do with the current aviation setup; piggy backing off the large industry filled with pilots, laws, regulations and aircraft dispatching. Luckily, this is not true. Uber wants to build flying, drone-like helicopters to pick up customers and transport them safely, through the air, to their destinations.  

Of course, this concept will take decades, and it may be half a century until we are anywhere near that level of technology and sophistication. However, this does not stop the company from releasing the statement and vision. 

The future holds great things. For now, we will stick with aircraft dispatching, flight controllers, pilots, and airports here at Sheffield School of Aeronautics

Gut Instincts Still Play a Role in Aviation Industry

The aviation industry is filled with courses designed to change the way you think, to instill logic and reason, but there is still room for instinct. This deems true of aircraft dispatcher school to a certain degree as well. 

Instinct cannot be bought, caught, or quantified. In fact, that is one of the reasons that machines have not replaced people in most fields: lack of gut instinct. 

The caveat is that instinct can be very harmful in the aviation industry. An aircraft dispatcher’s job is to rely purely on facts; on the data made available from all of the multimillion dollar satellites and radars. Most aircraft dispatcher training courses will tell you to avoid instinct, because it is usually wrong. 

This is true for pilots as well.  

However, when the training gathered from aircraft dispatcher school meets experience, instinct can make a huge difference. An article in the New York Times from several years ago investigates this phenomenon and concludes that a pilot’s instincts are good, but human instincts can be deadly. The same could possibly be true of the most important and well known example of the drawback of instincts: the infamous Air France flight 447 crash that took place in 2009. An article in popular mechanic does a fantastic job of describing what took place, with the help of experts. 

Experts agree that it was an error in judgement and trusting the wrong instincts that lead to the crash killing over 200 people.  

Aircraft dispatcher school will teach you to turn your human instincts into aviation instincts; to focus your knowledge and training into a single point.  

Safe travels to you all. 

A Look Back at Aircraft Dispatching in 2016

It’s about that time again; an end to another great year at Sheffield School of Aeronautics. Students from all over the world travel to our aircraft dispatching school in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to learn aircraft dispatching in preparation of beginning a new career.  

Aircraft dispatching, and the aviation industry in general, had an interesting 2016. There was turbulence and sunny skies alike, and Sheffield was there to discuss it all on our aircraft dispatcher blog.  

Here are some of the highlights from the past year:  

Aircraft Dispatcher Jobs in Demand – The airline industry predicts the demand for applicants in the aviation industry to increase dramatically. And they are not limited to aircraft dispatching, engineers, pilots, and even cabin crew demands are increasing.  

Aircraft Dispatcher School Discounts – Sheffield began offing discounts for aircraft dispatching programs geared towards Illinois and Texas residents. Discounts still apply, so check them out today! 

The Delta Airlines Power Outages – For almost two days, the Delta Airlines Headquarters in Georgia went completely dark. Aircraft dispatchers were helpless, being unable to make any flight plans. There were cancelled flights and more than a few frustrated customers, thankfully there were no serious mishaps.  

Aircraft Dispatching Unions – Dispatcher unions renewed contracts with American Airlines for another five years. 

Hurricane Matthew 2016 – Thankfully the storm was nowhere near as powerful as predicted. Its sudden gain in strength and course diversion was prepared for by aircraft dispatchers.  

Brazilian Soccer Team Crash –  Unfortunately, a mistake made by an aircraft dispatcher may have led to the eventual accident. Though still not for certain, Sheffield details those events on our blog.  

North American Airlines Battle Cheaper Air Travel Providers – Airlines across the US have begun fighting back against cheaper airlines. The plan could overhaul air travel dramatically.  

Those are our picks for most interesting and influencing moments for aircraft dispatching in 2016. There is more to come this year, so visit the Sheffield blog to keep up to date. 

Freedoms of the Air

Sheffield School of Aeronautics is one of the oldest schools for aircraft dispatchers. In our time, educating students on the wonders of the field of aviation expertise has changed quite a bit. When Sheffield opened its doors in 1944, the commercial aviation industry was still very young, and many of the rules and regulations we know today did not exist. There are nine fundamental freedoms of the air that aircraft dispatchers know.  

We think it may be interesting to discuss some of these rights of the sky, and there are two in particular that are very important to the work that aircraft dispatchers do every day.  

The First Freedom 

Airplanes have the right to fly over a foreign country. Technically, all of the air above a country belongs to that country. It would be impossible to fly efficiently if aircraft dispatchers could not create flight paths that entered foreign airspace. Thus. the first freedom of the air allows airlines the right to fly over foreign land.  

The Second Freedom 

This gives airlines the right to land in a foreign country to refuel or perform maintenance, without the passengers disembarking from the plan. For long flights, especially intercontinental ones, it is absolutely necessary to refuel at half way points. An aircraft dispatchers job is to decide when and where to refuel during a flight. Without this freedom of the air, long distance flying would not be possible at all.  

However, neither of these “freedoms” are free. Most airlines are charged a fee for flying over a foreign country and touching down to refuel the aircraft. Though an aircraft dispatcher’s job is to focus on the flight plan and fueling, some airlines may instruct dispatchers to be conscious of the costs to the airline as well.

Find a Stable Career in Aircraft Dispatching

Deciding on a career in aircraft dispatching is making a choice for long term stability. The aviation industry is known for having some of the most stable career paths out of any industry. The saying goes that the aviation industry takes care of its own.  

Aircraft dispatcher jobs are available now more than ever, and the industry is on a projection path of growth. Graduating from an aviation school that has a good reputation is the first step in a long and illustrious career in aviation.  

Your career in aircraft dispatching starts at a small airline. Learning the ropes and taking on more responsibility will allow for you to rise to the competency level to enter mid-sized airlines. Down the road, you have the opportunity to land a job with a larger airline.  

It is common for dispatchers to remain with one single airline for their entire careers, because many airlines reward loyalty.  

Aircraft dispatcher jobs at major airlines require the dispatcher to move to the airline’s headquarters; however, that does not deter the dedicated. Married dispatchers can rest easy knowing that they will unlikely be moving again, once they have relocated to an airline’s headquarters. 

Starting salaries vary, but most dispatchers can expect to make roughly $45,000 a year after a few years of experience. Highly experienced dispatchers may make upwards of $100,000 a year while working for a major airline.  

Sheffield School of Aeronautics partners with major airlines around the world, and our graduates go on to enjoy careers in aircraft dispatching for years to come.

Just Released – The Revised ADX Certification Sample Test

A revised ADX certification sample test has been released by the FAA. The 80 test questions have been updated and are now suitable to be used as study materials for the ADX certification test. 

The FAA website has also provided some study materials and supplemental guides in which some students may find useful.  

Although the instructors at Sheffield School of Aeronautics recommend using the sample test as a study guide, it is better to understand and know the information than to just simply memorize the test. This sample, in conjunction with the knowledge you obtain at aircraft dispatcher school, will increase your chances of passing by a long haul. 

Sheffield School of Aeronautics has created an ADX test preparation guide that can be used in conjunction with the ADX certification sample test to improve your chances of a passing score.  

Sheffield has also created the one of a kind ADX test prep app that guides students with decades worth of experience from aircraft dispatcher school instructors.  

Instructors are always available to Sheffield students who have questions. We recommend our students form study groups with classmates, for both the written ADX certification and the oral exam.  

Students must pass the oral portion of the exam after the written portion. It is best to discuss techniques and study guides with your instructors and ask for any help you may need. 

To learn more about the ADX certification test process, visit the Sheffield website. 

Good luck studying!

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