Flight dispatchers are among the key individuals who ensure that all airline flights run on-schedule. They are employed by airlines to set up scheduling and flight plans for various aircraft using a variety of criteria, and must ensure that each flight crew has a safe and efficient plan to get from one airport facility to another.
Some of a flight dispatcher's duties involve planning and analysis, as well. They must take into account flight times and the individual availability and layouts of airports when developing plans and schedules for commercial flights. The job may get tricky in that it requires dispatchers to accurately project variables, such as weather or passenger volume, which may affect various paths and destinations.
Because a single cancelled or delayed flight can affect other connections and travel plans, dispatchers must be able to think quickly to make decisions which affect not only flight crews, but also the passengers who have paid to fly. In all situations, dispatchers are expected to make the most efficient decisions while taking into account all applicable regulations and ensuring the safety of everyone aboard the aircraft.
Aspiring flight dispatchers should typically have a post-secondary school degree or certification in a specialized program. Some airlines may prefer candidates with degrees in meteorologic sciences, as well. Flight dispatchers typically work in transportation offices/facilities and under great time-constraints with numerous distractions, so the abilities to remain calm, organized, and think clearly under pressure are important. Flight dispatchers work at all hours of the day and night, but are typically assigned regular shifts.
Flight Dispatcher Tasks
Coordinate daily logistics and flight logs, including tracking passengers, weight, and cargo on each flight.
Monitor weather, events, hotel availability, catering, and other services and obstacles.
Coordinate, schedule, and communicate with flight crew to ensure safety and inform of delays.
Ensure safe and legal procedures are followed from pre-flight to landing.