The flight dispatcher works under high pressure in a fast-paced environment and is seen as the lead communicator and scheduler for an airline. They need to ensure that aircraft are where they are supposed to be. Airlines rely on the flight dispatcher to keep aircraft operating to schedule whilst watching the operational cost. They are the go-between for the pilot and ground services, keeping everyone notified of the flight and its status.
What is the role of a flight dispatcher?
The main duties of a flight dispatcher are:
- To check that the cleaning, refuelling and loading of the aircraft is completed
- To ensure that the safety and maintenance checks are carried out
- To work with the pilot on the flight plan and prepare for the aircraft’s departure
- To calculate the fuel and payload
- To check weather reports
- To ensure that the passengers, luggage and cargo are loaded
- To report to air traffic control and ground services the status of the flight at any time
Some tasks that you will be required to do are:
- Understand navigation, weather, routing and altitudes
- Make decisions quickly regarding safety, flight regulations and costs
- Use specialized computer systems to calculate loads
- Complete reports and logs to company procedure
Basic requirements and qualifications
A flight dispatcher should have a minimum of 5 GCSEs at C grade including maths and English or a good high school education. A degree in air transport or airline operations is desirable. Customer service and aviation experience is important as well as having a driving license and security clearance.
Essential skills that a flight dispatcher should have are:
- Excellent communication and teamwork
- Ability to multi-task
- Can remain calm under pressure
- Have high attention to detail
- Strong health and safety awareness
- Good problem-solving ability with strong judgment
How to Apply
You can apply directly to the airline of your choice to become a flight dispatcher through their careers website. Some airport’s careers websites may advertise vacancies as will aviation job-related websites. The airline will provide their own training or you can arrange to attend ground school at an accredited aviation school. Cargo airlines and private jet operators also have flight dispatchers, so there a number of opportunities to apply.
Hours, Salary and Benefits
As a flight dispatcher, you will work both inside and outside at the airport as well as liaising on the aircraft. You would normally work a 40 hour a week shift with overtime and at any time of the day or night.
Salary is made up of basic, plus overtime.
Other benefits may include health and life insurance, staff travel and pension, depending on the airline.
You can become a senior flight dispatcher or work as a flight operations manager or move sideways in to air traffic control.