The Operations Control Center

The Operational Control Center or “OCC” for many airlines represents the coordination hub where many “spokes” of airline operational control merge together. In a Mission Control-like atmosphere, the Aircraft Dispatcher, also referred to as flight superintendent, or flight control officer assists in the preplanning, flight monitoring, en route assistance, and coordination of several flights during a typical 8-10 hour shift.

The OCC includes: Equipment Control, Flight Control, Maintenance Control, Meteorology, Radio, Security Command Center, and System Reroute. This strong team effort is vital in maintaining safe, and efficient flights.

Radar displays are a major weather tool for the Dispatcher. The Radar weather charts and displays portray all pertinent information concerning the intensity, configuration, coverage, type, and movement of precipitation. This information may at times supplement the radar information displayed in the control cabin of an aircraft. Working together, the Pilot-in-command and dispatcher may collectively decide on a preferred route, or reroute, around significant weather. At times, the type of aircraft with its particular performance characteristics and limitations may be a critical factor in weather planning and en route decision-making.

All weather, flight planning and status, as well as communications information are displayed on the monitors, or may be accessed with a few keystrokes.

Among the views for the OCC personnel are System Weather, Flow (Traffic) Advisories, Hotel Accommodations, The Weather Channel. These are supplements to the abundant information already provided to the dispatcher at their workstations.

The Operational Control Center or “OCC” for many airlines represents the coordination hub where many “spokes” of airline operational control merge. In a Mission Control-like atmosphere, the Aircraft Dispatcher, also referred to as flight superintendent or flight control officer, assists in the preplanning, flight monitoring, en route assistance, and coordination of several flights during a typical 8 to 10-hour shift. Below is more information that explains what a  flight operations control center does.

What Is OCC in an Airline?

“OCC” in the context of an airline typically stands for “Operations Control Center” or “Operational Control Center.” The OCC is a central command and control facility where airline operations are monitored, managed, and coordinated. It serves as the nerve center of an airline’s day-to-day activities and is responsible for ensuring the efficient and safe operation of flights.

Key functions of an airline’s OCC include:

  • Equipment control: This involves monitoring the status and availability of aircraft and ensuring that they are properly configured and equipped for their scheduled flights. It includes managing issues related to aircraft maintenance, repairs, and scheduling.
  • Flight control: Flight control involves monitoring and managing the progress of flights in real-time. This includes coordinating with air traffic control, handling deviations from the planned route, and ensuring that flights operate on schedule.
  • Maintenance control: Maintenance control is responsible for overseeing the maintenance and repair activities of the airline’s aircraft. This includes scheduling routine maintenance, addressing unexpected issues, and ensuring that all aircraft meet safety and regulatory standards.
  • Meteorology: Meteorology’s function involves monitoring weather conditions that may affect flight operations. This includes providing real-time weather updates to flight crews and making operational decisions based on weather forecasts and current conditions.
  • Radio: Radio communication is critical for coordinating with flight crews, air traffic control, and other relevant parties. The OCC may have a dedicated team responsible for radio communication to ensure seamless and reliable communication throughout the airline’s operations.
  • Security command center: The security command center focuses on monitoring and managing security-related aspects of airline operations. This includes coordinating with relevant authorities, implementing security measures, and responding to any security incidents or threats.
  • System reroute: This function involves making operational decisions to reroute flights in response to unexpected events or disruptions. This could include weather-related issues, airspace closures, or other factors that may necessitate a change in the planned route.

The OCC is staffed by a team of specialists, including dispatchers, meteorologists, and operations personnel, who work together to manage and optimize the airline’s operations. This centralized approach helps airlines respond quickly to changing conditions and ensure a smooth and efficient operation.

How Important Is The Operations Control Center OCC In Airline Operations?

An airline operations control center holds paramount importance in the seamless functioning of airline operations. Because it serves as the nerve center, the OCC plays a pivotal role in real-time monitoring, decision-making, and communication across various facets of an airline’s activities. Its ability to track the location and performance of each aircraft allows for immediate responses to deviations from schedules or unforeseen events. 

As the decision-making hub, the airport operations control center influences critical aspects of operations, including flight routing, scheduling, maintenance coordination, and security management. The center’s role in weather monitoring ensures that airlines can proactively respond to changing weather conditions, enhancing safety and minimizing disruptions. Effective communication facilitated by the OCC is essential for coordinating with flight crews, air traffic control, maintenance teams, and other stakeholders. 

Additionally, the OCC contributes to the efficiency and cost control of airline operations by optimizing flight schedules and responding adeptly to disruptions. In essence, the OCC is indispensable in ensuring the overall efficiency, safety, and coordination of airline operations, making it a crucial component for the success of any airline.

Using Radar as an OCC Dispatcher

In an airport operations center, radar displays serve as a critical weather tool for the dispatcher. These displays provide comprehensive information on the intensity, configuration, coverage, type, and movement of precipitation. This radar information can supplement the data available in the control cabin of an aircraft, enabling collaborative decision-making between the Pilot-in-command and the dispatcher. Together, they may choose a preferred route or reroute to navigate around significant weather.

The specific characteristics and limitations of the aircraft type are also considered in this decision-making process. The OCC personnel utilize radar displays and additional views, such as system weather, flow (traffic) advisories, hotel accommodations, and The Weather Channel, to enhance all-weather flight planning and status monitoring. This information, accessible with a few keystrokes, supplements the abundant data already available to dispatchers at their workstations.

The integration of radar displays and diverse views in the OCC underscores its pivotal role in ensuring efficient, safe, and well-informed decision-making in airline operations.

Airline Operations Control Center Jobs

At Sheffield School of Aeronautics, students aspiring to enter the dynamic and crucial field of flight dispatcher jobs will find a comprehensive program tailored to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge. Students at Sheffield School of Aeronautics will gain a deep understanding of the various OCC functions, including equipment control, flight control, maintenance control, meteorology, radio communication, security command center operations, and system rerouting.

The curriculum is designed to immerse students in real-world scenarios, providing hands-on experience in using radar displays for weather analysis, interpreting flight data, and making informed decisions in collaboration with flight crews. The program emphasizes the importance of effective communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills – essential attributes for success in the fast-paced environment of airline operations.

Graduates of our online dispatcher school will be well-prepared to pursue rewarding aircraft dispatcher careers, such as dispatchers, operations coordinators, and specialists in areas like meteorology or radio communication. The school’s commitment to excellence ensures that students are equipped with the expertise needed to excel in the diverse and dynamic responsibilities within an airline’s Operations Control Center. As the aviation industry continues to evolve, Sheffield School of Aeronautics stands as a beacon for individuals aspiring to become aircraft dispatchers.

Contact Us Today 

Embark on a journey into the heart of aviation excellence with us! If you’re intrigued by the dynamic world of airline operations control center jobs and have questions about our specialized programs, we invite you to reach out. Our dedicated team is here to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about your aviation education.

Whether you’re curious about the curriculum, career prospects, or the unique hands-on experiences we offer, we’re ready to assist you. Your aviation career starts with the right education, and Sheffield School of Aeronautics is committed to helping you soar to new heights.

Contact us today with your questions. Our friendly staff is eager to guide you on your path to success in the exciting field of airline operations. Don’t just dream of an aviation career. Make it a reality with Sheffield School of Aeronautics.

Operations Control Centers Around the World

Here are some photo galleries from real live operations centers around the world:

  • Contact Us

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

  • Testimonials

    “This school came highly recommended by multiple past students and EVEN OTHERS FROM OTHER SCHOOLS. Reputation is fantastic from multiple companies that I have worked for.” A. – September 2020
    “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
    “If you want to be the best, first you need to be trained by the best!” P. Hill P.Hill – DHL
    “now that I’ve been in an indoctrination class with students from other schools, I know I made the right choice with Sheffield.”   Kindest regards,  A.R.  All schools are created equal?! yeah…sure ;)
    “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.
    “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
    “Going to Sheffield prepared me for the real world challenges of Aircraft Dispatching. I certainly believe that the method Sheffield used is one not only for success in a real world career, but also one that prepares students to correctly dispatch aircraft.” T.Z. Sidebar TZ
    “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
    Good afternoon Eric, I wanted to reach out to let you know that training at (airline) is in full swing and I couldn’t be happier that I chose Sheffield. My classmates, while very smart, definitely had subpar training and that has been very evident. I have waited to write a full scale review of the […] Attending Sheffield School benefits airline new hires in preparation for airline training
    “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
    “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 so glad they are like this because it made me a better dispatcher and I really appreciate their high standards. I would highly recommend Sheffield to anyone who is willing to study hard and is serious about obtaining a Dispatcher Certificate.” MC MC
    ” I have received 4 (job) offers…many of the interviews I have gotten have been because of my “pedigree”…going to Sheffield. I am amazed at the respect your school has….I am honored to be a graduate. Thank you for all the work you ..!”  Testimonial – J. Ganci
    “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
  • Online Catalog

    Sheffield Flight Dispatch Training Catalog

  • Connect