All About Flight Dispatcher Careers

Flight dispatchers also called aircraft dispatchers and airline dispatchers, play a vital role in most large fleet operations, as well as smaller cargo and flight training operations. In general, flight dispatchers work closely with pilots to plan all aspects of each flight.

Some of the factors a dispatcher must consider include weather (departure, en route, and destination), fuel requirements, aircraft weight & balance, airworthiness of the aircraft, compliance with regulations, alternate destinations, and route and altitude selection.

In general, the flight dispatcher's job is to ensure that a company's aircraft take off on time (weather permitting), are fully loaded to maximize revenues, have adequate fuel, airport, navigation, and weather information on board to complete the flight as planned, burn the least amount of fuel required for the flight, and land at the destination airport on or ahead of schedule. Get info about flight dispatcher training.

Flight Dispatcher Duties

Flight dispatchers share the responsibility for the safety of a given flight with the captain of the aircraft. Typically, the flight dispatcher is responsible for creating a flight plan and works with the captain directly on such issues as takeoff and landing performance, fuel load, route, altitudes, weight and balance, and weather conditions.

The flight dispatcher also "releases" a particular aircraft to make its flight, and, once airborne, monitors the progress of all his/her current flights and shares that information with other key ground personnel.

Aircraft dispatchers usually ride along in the cockpit of company-owned aircraft several times per year (the Federal Aviation Administration requires a minimum of five hours per year in the cockpit) to keep their skills sharp in relation to airline procedures, air traffic control routing, and airport environments. Read more about commercial pilot training.

Flight Dispatcher Careers

As a flight dispatcher, you can expect to work for a large airline moving passengers or cargo, for smaller regional airlines as they continue to grow, or in large flight training operation. Working in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment, you will probably have a computer workstation specialized for the task of planning flights and following changing weather all across the world.

Expect to be indoors most of the time, although you will be interfacing with pilots in and around the airport environment, so you could be on the airport tarmac when required.

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