Flight Dispatcher profession overview
Airlines are composed of a skilled crew to maintain and ensure safe and convenient day-to-day operation. Each has an important role, and a flight dispatcher is a position that deserves our attention.
Most people think that air travel is always in the hands of pilots. But an air travel will not be trouble-free without a flight dispatcher.
Flight dispatchers, also called a flight operations officer or airline dispatcher, generally assists in considering aircraft loading/performance, planning every flight path, and taking into account airspace restrictions/turbulence forecasts.
A flight dispatcher performs multiple roles. Here are some of them:
Help Ensure the Safety of the Flight
Aircraft dispatchers, along with a captain, are responsible for keeping every flight safe. They particularly create a flight plan that allows the aircraft to arrive at its destination without delays and high operating costs. Although this job sounds easy, it has a lot of pressure. Even if it is challenging, it is a rewarding career without a doubt.
Take Weather Conditions into Account
There are many aspects to consider to maintain the security of all flights. The weather condition is something flight dispatchers cannot afford to overlook. They study winds, general traffic low, fuel requirements, and altitudes from the start to end of air travel.
Understand Navigation Facilities
Flight dispatchers also spend time studying and understanding navigation facilities as they sometimes ride in the cockpit. Plus, a deep understanding of the landing characteristic of aircraft and airline routes can give them an advantage over the others.
Communicate Between the Crew in the Airplane and the Ground
Communication is key in everything, like in the aviation sector. Flight dispatchers, in particular, spend most of their time communicating among pilots on flights they monitor. They need to orient the pilot about navigation information and flight plan guidelines to take safety to the next level.
Check Aircraft Maintenance Issues
Poor aviation maintenance is one of the top causes of air travel accidents. Research revealed that more than 12% of aircraft accidents are the result of low-quality aviation maintenance.
But thankfully, there are flight dispatchers that check maintenance issues a couple of times to guarantee that the plane is in 100% perfect condition.
Review Aircraft Weight
Aside from considering weather conditions, adherence to aircraft weight limits is a crucial factor to flight security, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
However, there were incidents of overloaded aircraft in the US and other parts of the globe. Exceeding aircraft weight limits can affect the plane’s performance and cause delays at the same time.
Fortunately, there are flight dispatchers that review aircraft weight. They may reduce the fuel and cargo if the need arises, as the passenger’s safety is always the top priority.
Qualifications and Requirements
According to Zippia, there are approximately 5,038 aircraft dispatchers in the US. It is also expected to increase by 1%, which has also created over 300 employment opportunities in the country from 2018 up to this day. The salary is another thing that catches many people’s attention and interest. On average, an aircraft dispatcher can earn around $57,657 annually. That’s already a good amount of compensation.
But before you can become a flight dispatcher, there are requirements you should meet to qualify for an available position. A few of them are listed below:
- Pass the practical test under the Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) section 65.59.
- Applicants must have good enunciation, hearing, and vision under section 65.57.
- FAA Dispatch Certificate is also a prerequisite.
- They must have a deep understanding of the regulations on airline operations.
- They should have expertise in monitoring and analyzing runway performance, weight issues, preferred routes, fuel needs, weather reports, and other factors.
- Applicants must be 23 years of age to be eligible for a flight dispatcher certificate.
- Possess excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
If you have questions and other concerns, please feel free to visit the official website of FAR. You can also ask for help from the flight dispatchers you know, which can save your time.
Skills and Qualities
Now that you know some eligibility requirements, below are the skills you should possess as an applicant:
- Since you will relay instructions to pilots and other aircraft crew, you must have outstanding communication skills. A language barrier may compromise the safety of the passengers.
- Be able to handle pressure. A flight dispatcher is not ideal for those with a weak heart.
- You should have attention to detail and be able to concentrate for a more extended period.
- You must be decisive as you need to make quick decisions regarding flight regulations, safety, etc.
- The ability to work in a team is also necessary. Most of the time, an aircraft dispatcher works with pilots, air traffic controllers, and even other dispatchers.
- Competence or proficiency with technology is also a skill looked at by employers and hiring managers.