Why Flight Dispatchers are Necessary
Flight dispatchers are extremely important to the aviation field. They are the people behind the scenes, planning flights and coordinating with individuals to make sure they make it from Point A to Point B in an aircraft. Did you know, approximately 2,000 U.S. aircraft dispatchers work day in and day out so your plane can avoid into turbulence, thunderstorms, volcanic ash, and other weather-related conditions? Flight dispatchers are necessary! They’re responsible for keeping the flights fueled, as well as helping them land on runways with slick, icy roads. Flight dispatchers are the pilot’s ears and eyes on the ground. This means the pilots is in charge of the plane, but the flight dispatcher is in charge of the flight.
Flight dispatchers who graduate from our Sheffield School of Aeronautics are licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This is required by law in the U.S.
It is the duty of a flight dispatcher to make sure that he or she agree with the pilot before a flight can even take off. In the event that neither the flight dispatcher or pilot agree, this will affect the flight and the schedule for when the aircraft takes off can be delayed.
However, if the flight dispatcher and pilot agree upon flying, the flight will then take off. Once the flight is in air, it is the responsibility of the flight dispatcher to keep an eye on weather conditions at both arriving and departing airports. In the case of an emergency, the flight dispatcher has an alternative route for emergency landings. They have the authority to divert or reroute the plane, when necessary. If the aircraft has a sick attendant or out of control passenger, the first person the pilot contacts it the flight dispatcher.
Flight Dispatcher Job
Being a flight dispatcher is an extremely stressful job, especially when things go wrong and the variables of terrible weather. Despite the high stress level of the job, flight dispatchers are extremely sought after in the aviation field.
They’re required to attend a six-week FAA-certification course, pass an eight-hour oral exam, and also a written exam. Once you do pass all the tests and obtain your certification, you will then be assigned as an assistant dispatcher and work under the guidance of a licensed flight dispatcher.
Some airline companies will require a psychological evaluation before the individual is hired as a flight dispatcher. There is still continuous training, 20 hours of classroom time, that will need to be done annually, and at least five hours of observing the flight inside of a cockpit.
Flight dispatchers have to be just as knowledgeable as a pilot. They must be familiar with aircraft maintenance manuals, emergency checklists, meteorological charts, air traffic control systems, air-radio systems, layouts of over hundreds of airports, and more!
When you are a flight dispatcher, you get to wear civilian clothes, work in shifts, and earn as a little as $32,000 to $44,000 a year. You can learn more about an aircraft dispatcher’s salary here. For more information, contact us at the Sheffield School of Aeronautics to learn more about our programs and courses offered.