Flight Dispatcher Training in California
Flight dispatchers also called aircraft dispatchers and airline dispatchers, play a vital role in most large fleet operations, as well as at 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 Schools
When you attend a college or school offering flight dispatcher training, you'll learn aircraft performance specifications, how air traffic is routed in the National Airspace System by air traffic controllers, how aircraft use navigation and communications systems and facilities, aviation weather analysis, weight, and balance calculations, and of course, federal aviation regulations.
Some schools offer specialized training and accelerated courses that prepare you to take the FAA flight dispatcher certification exams. Keep in mind you must already meet the other requirements before enrolling in one of these courses. Learn more about flight dispatcher training.
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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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 it's 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.
Flight Dispatcher Training Courses
In order to be eligible to become a flight dispatcher, you'll need to be a high school graduate. Of course, the more education you have, the better, as airlines prefer to hire dispatchers with college degrees, and you'll be competing in a tight job market.
If you want to become a flight dispatcher, the time to start your training is now. However, keep in mind that you must be at least 21 to take the Aircraft Dispatcher Knowledge Test (written) and you must be at least 23 to hold an FAA Aircraft Dispatcher Certificate.
Where to Find Flight Dispatcher Training
You can train to become a flight dispatcher in one of three ways:
1. Graduate from a college or vocational training school's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved flight dispatcher course.
2. Work for at least one year as an apprentice and under the direct supervision of an FAA certified flight dispatcher.
3. Work for two of the last three preceding years as an air traffic controller, either in the military or civilian sectors
Learn more about flight dispatcher certification.
How the FAA Mitigates the Impact of Bad Weather
They include ground stops, which keep aircraft on the ground when air traffic control is unable to safely accommodate additional aircraft in the system, ground delays, in which aircraft are delayed at their departure airport in order to manage demand and capacity at their arrival airport, and Severe Weather Avoidance Plans, which minimize the impact of a large scale storm by easing traffic demand in portions of airspace impacted by the storm. Other tools include:
- The Airspace Flow Program which identifies aircraft scheduled to fly through severe weather and provides new estimated departure times, giving airlines the flexibility to accept the delay, fly around the storm or cancel the flight.
- Time Based Flow Management is a technology used to adjust capacity and demand imbalances at select airports and points in the sky throughout the U.S., while Traffic Management Advisor is a comprehensive, automated tool for planning efficient flight trajectories from cruise altitude to the runway.
- The fully-automated NextGen Weather Processor identifies safety hazards around busy airports and at high altitudes, and also provides support for strategic traffic flow management, including weather information needed to predict routes blocked by bad weather up to eight hours in advance.
- The Aviation Weather Display consolidates previously separate weather displays, providing important weather information at a glance for controllers.
Fixed-Wing Aircraft Factoid Maintaining the Aircraft
Airframe, engine, and aircraft component manufacturers are responsible for documenting the maintenance procedures that guide managers and technicians on when and how to perform maintenance on their products. A small aircraft may only require a few manuals, including the aircraft maintenance manual. This volume usually contains the most frequently used information required to maintain the aircraft properly. The Type Certificate Data Sheet (TCDS) for an aircraft also contains critical information.