Nature of the Job:
Aircraft dispatchers are sometimes called flight superintendents. It is their job to schedule flights for airlines and make sure all aviation regulations are followed. To ensure a safe flight, they create flight plans and discuss this with the pilot and flight engineers. Aircraft disptachers still communicate with the airplane crew even if they are airborne to keep them updated with the weather conditions, suggest alternative landing spots if needed and important changes in altitude.
· Check weather conditions and the amount of fuel to be loaded
· Determine the best routes and altitudes for flights
· Select alternative landing sites if bad weather occurs
· Examine mechanics' reports to make certain required maintenance has been completed
· If for any reason dispatchers or pilots decide that flights cannot be made, dispatchers must notify the passengers and crews and arrange for alternate flights.
· Keep records of the availability of aircraft and equipment, weight of cargo, and the amount of time flown by each plane and each crew member.
Education and Training Requirements:
- A degree in Aviation
- Courses in Mathematics, Physics and Meteorology can be useful.
- Flying experience and work history with airlines can be important when searching for employment.
- At least two years of practical work experience
- Must possess a current and valid ATO Flight Operations Officer's (FOO) License
- Must have a valid ATO A&P License
Skills and Competency Requirements:
- Must be capable of doing preplanning and flight monitoring
- Must have the ability to provide enroute assistance and coordination of several flights
- Must be proficient in English and possess excellent communications' skills
Aircraft dispatchers usually work for large airlines and are usually assisted by support dispatchers.
Most airlines operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Airline Dispatchers are required to be on duty for all hours of the airline’s operation.
However, each airline’s dispatcher work schedule may vary for operational coverage and necessity. Aircraft Flight Dispatchers may work 4 days for 10 hours each or 5 days for 8 hours each. Shift start times will also vary to ensure coverage for the airline’s operation. Holidays, days off, and vacations are usually scheduled by seniority.
Professional Organizations: International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)