A Reply to Ignorance

October 16, 2017

This is our response to a statement found within the minutes of a meeting in May 2017 of the GALDA (German Airline Dispatcher Association), which included an opinion and generalizations regarding USA FAA Part 65 training and trainers made by the Chairman of the German Airline Dispatcher Association. The link below includes the entire statement. Our response follows.


One statement that we find particularly troublesome is

“The FAA Dispatch license is reduced to a business model and cash machine for FAR 65 training provider. The issue any form of license without a complete and proofed qualification and competence is simply wrong. If there are shortcuts like the FAR 65 license, all other professional competence development concepts for FOO are endangered, also the new Competency Based Training Concept for FOO.”


I’m unsure if this is stupidity, ignorance, or a hybrid of both.

The FAA does not issue a ‘dispatch license’, it issues a certificate, which means the individual is eligible to apply for a job – period. It is not a license to dispatch. It is the airline’s responsibility to rigorously interview the applicant, and if hired, put them through a training period that acclimates them to do the actual job, all of this typically occurs during a 3-12 month probationary period in the USA.

It is best and most advisable not to lump Sheffield School of Aeronautics into any category with any other FAA Part 65 schools, of which there are likely 50+ approvals. I doubt having students self-study a 1500+ ADX-test question bank, that is in constant flux, would be considered ‘fast and easy.’ This is required study before even entering our school. Other schools may incorporate some or all of this standardized test material into their curriculum, much of it being nonsensical and not applicable to an actual OCC/NOC of any regional or major airline within the USA or outside the USA, but Sheffield does not use ADX subject material as the core focus of their courses.

Why have so many carriers, including international airlines, sent people to Sheffield School of Aeronautics (est. 1948) as well as some other schools? In our case, this includes major European carriers such as KLM, Air Berlin, Lufthansa, etc.. If there is no value to the USA/FAA certification, why has this occurred and continues to occur? Most international carriers don’t technically need the training and yet they send their people anyway. So, is the author calling those companies plus Virgin Australia and dozens of others, including Delta and United, et al. stupid, then? 

This sounds to me like someone is using that “US Part 65 training sucks” line to further their own work project. I also find it interesting that, to the best of our knowledge, there are only three countries in the world who share operational control, and the Part 65 certificate works for that – but their own training he speaks of still won’t allow that in other countries. If our process is good enough to give us that authority legally, then, obviously the FAA sees it as sufficient and continues to do so since there appears to be no rewrite of Part 65 in the works. 

If you believe USA FAA Part 65 Aircraft Dispatcher training is insufficient, then I challenge you to block all US air carriers from entering other countries’ airspace as being unsafe since they are insufficiently planned and released. At least Delta’s operations, since they run their own program in-house under Part 65… 

The blog/piece seems to focus on US regulations, many of which are mirrored in one way or another internationally. The author also fails to note that there is more to a Part 65 USA course than regulations. There’s weather theory, non-graphic weather, graphic weather, ATC, navigation, aircraft performance, flight planning, and aircraft systems, in addition to decision-making and situational awareness. Do European turbojet engines work differently? Is weather theory, not climatology, different across the Atlantic? I could go on forever…

FAA Part 65 training in the USA was described in the blog link as ‘Fast and easy’, which is utter nonsense. At least, not at Sheffield School of Aeronautics. Ask anyone who has ever attended this FAA Part 65 school of hard knocks. This is no “shortcut”, and if any US Part 65 school sells a ticket, so to speak, any airline inside or outside of the U.S. with half a brain stem, will simply dismiss that applicant during the interview process. Yet our graduates who return to their homes all around the world, be it USA, Germany, or various European or Asian countries, seem to have little or no problem assimilating into the international standards of other airlines. Why is that? Perhaps the international community should reexamine their own ‘standards.’ Or in the least coordinate and communicate with US Part 65 trainers as to what is lacking in order to make improvements to training. The FAA does not seem to fathom that communications-for-improvement concept at times, but perhaps others around the world can simply communicate what is good and what is lacking –Sheffield would certainly listen.

These “Operations/Dispatch” Federations who are trying to attract young, motivated individuals, yet communicate ignorance, should be admonished, if not shunned entirely. We’re not big into patronizing  ignorance. 

Eric Morris
Sheffield School of Aeronautics (established 1948)





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