Reasons an Aircraft Dispatcher May Divert a Flight

Every flight plan is carefully checked and rechecked by aircraft dispatchers, pilots, and flight controllers. In fact, flight plans are so thoroughly thought out that there are back up plans just in case a flight needs to be diverted. Aircraft dispatcher training prepares dispatchers to deal with expected and unexpected diversions from the planning phase and on. When and why would aircraft dispatchers divert flights?  

  • Weather 

The most common reason aircraft dispatchers divert flights is in response to weather conditions. Weather monitoring is a major part of the day to day lives of aircraft dispatchers. Preparing for inevitable diversions comes with the territory.  

Aircraft dispatcher training focuses heavily on monitoring and predicting weather systems effectively. The weather is constantly changing, and even a meteorologists predictions are incorrect from time to time. If a thunderstorm develops or a snow storm changes direction, aircraft dispatchers divert flights to maintain the safety of everyone on board.  

  • Unruly Passengers 

Unfortunately, an unruly passenger can cause delays. Although aircraft dispatchers divert flights more so for weather, it is not uncommon for some flights to be grounded or diverted to land sooner because of passengers. Nearly a third of passenger-related issues are due to alcohol consumption. 

Aircraft dispatcher training does not have to cover “how to deal with unruly passengers” part because that is handled by the flight crew. The flight captain then has the final say.  

  • Health and Safety 

Some aircraft dispatchers divert flights at the request of the captain if there has been a medical emergency. Over the decades, there have been instances of babies being born mid-flight, passengers experiencing heart attacks and strokes, or other emergency health issues. The flight captain will usually consult with a medical professional and make the decision to divert the flight.  

In even rarer cases, some flights have been grounded because passengers were too ill to fly. Though not a major cause for concern, it has happened on a few occasions. 

When the decision to divert is made, the aircraft dispatcher must jump into action. All of the training and preparation should make the diversion an easy task indeed.  

Aircraft dispatcher training places a great deal of focus on planning, which is why almost every possible outcome is determined before a flight even takes off. Diversions are typically planned for very accordingly. Extra fuel and flight paths are prepared in advance. 

In the unusual case that a flight is diverted for unexpected reasons, it can cost the airline a lot of money. Fees are paid to airports that the plane touches ground at, refueling costs, and paying for airline employees overtime adds up. 

  • Contact Us

    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • Testimonials

    “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
    “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 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
    “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
    “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 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
    “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
    “If you want to be the best, first you need to be trained by the best!” P. Hill P.Hill – DHL
    “This was an amazing class! Always interesting! It was like drinking from a fire hose, but I have never enjoyed a course more than this one. Thank you for a great 5 weeks & EWINS!” R.S. R.S. Testimonial – 5-weeks & EWINS
    “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
    “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
    “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
    “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
    “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.
  • Online Catalog

    Sheffield Flight Dispatch Training Catalog

  • Connect