About the Flight Dispatch Career
For individuals with a passion for aviation and a goal to have a career with the airlines your absolute best investment is in FAA approved Flight Dispatcher training and certification.
One of the most significant human factors contributions to airline flight safety has been the skill and flight supervision each Flight Dispatcher provides to each airline flight. Airlines without Flight Dispatch supervision have accident rates up to five (5) times greater.
Therefore, airlines in the United States, Canada and many overseas nations are required by the FAA or
CAA to employ Flight Dispatchers. With most airlines, the Flight Dispatcher has responsibility and authority above the Airline Captain to delay or cancel flights before severe weather or other dangers
On the job: Hours before each Airline Captain checks in for their flight, the Flight Dispatcher has
made a weather forecast briefing, selected the route and altitude to be flown, coordinated a flight plan
with air traffic control and has determined the minimum safe fuel load and maximum passenger load
for each particular flight to be operated.
The Flight Dispatcher prepares the required flight documents: the Flight Plan and the Dispatch Release.
By this teamwork, where the Flight Dispatcher has the authority pre-flight and the Airline Captain has
the authority in-flight, the highest level of aviation safety in the world is maintained. In this relationship
each flight decision is made by joint agreement between the two, representing the FAA mandated
collaborative decision making (CDM) between the Airline Captain and Flight Dispatcher.
In terms of Aviation Meteorology, Air Traffic Control coordination, Flight Economics and Passenger / Asset coordination, the Flight Dispatcher has knowledge and practical ability typically beyond that of the Airline Captain. Conversely, the Airline Captain has mastered airmanship far beyond the ability of the Flight Dispatcher. Safety is optimized by the joining of these abilities.
September 11th, 2001 was a day that provided the greatest witness to the value and ability of Flight Dispatchers. That morning with about 4,500 airline flights in the sky over the USA, the FAA ordered all of those 4,500 flights to divert and land outside the USA immediately.
Airline flights that did not comply within 30 minutes would be considered as hostile aircraft.
How did each Airline Captain get these orders? 90% of those flights did not have data covering flying into Canada or Mexico. How would the Captain know the safest place to land in this crisis? At least 1,000 of those flights were jumbo jets - not just any runway would be sufficient to safely land
Because FAA Air Traffic Control is tied into Flight Dispatch and given each Flight Dispatcher must monitor the weather, airspace conditions and each airport along the path of each flight, every Flight Dispatcher had a rapid response or emergency plan ready. There were no mid-air near misses, no conflicts, no landing incidents - none. Every one of the 4,500 flights with somewhere near 90,000 total passengers was on the ground within the hour - safely.
Collectively, the success of this emergency response by Flight Dispatchers in the United States amidst this tragic event was medal of honor worthy.
You can be this; you can do this. You can be the safety critical asset known as the Flight Dispatcher, required by the FAA, working with the Captain, governing every airline flight.
If aviation is your career choice, Flight Dispatcher training is a decision that will forever place you a flight level above the rest.