The Flight Dispatcher: The Captain on the Ground

The Flight Dispatcher: The Captain on the Ground

All travel teams, have pilots who are capable of operating the plane accurately and safely. Flight attendants also provide the passengers with the necessary flight safety-related information and assistance. But aside from them, there are other people who, though we don’t see and hear of them at all, play an essential role in ensuring the safety of each flight operation. Flight dispatchers are among these people.

Flight dispatchers work in close cooperation and coordination with the pilot-in-command ensuring that aircrafts arrive at their destinations on time. They closely monitor wind, fuel requirements, altitudes that will be reached,and weather conditions. Apart  from monitoring aircraft performance, they also analyze and decide the best operational and most economical routes given the requirements and restrictions of the operations. Flight dispatchers are the ones who have the authority to cancel, delay, or divert a flight. They are also the ones, in combination with the pilot-in-command, who are authorized to determine whether a plane is ready and allowed to take off.

In addition to things like weather and wind patterns, the dispatcher also discusses flight technicalities such as other airport special procedures and trainings required; landing and take-off characteristics of each plane at their airline and airport; and flight routes. Occasionally, dispatchers ride in the cockpit to understand things fully.

Flight dispatchers, as they often work under pressure and in fast-paced surroundings, must be able to cope with nerve-wrecking situations, keep their focus for long spans of time, and make spontaneous decisions concerning the flight safety. They should be well-organized, safety-conscious, and good communicators. They must have good vision and hearing, in addition to their interest in meteorology. Above all, flight dispatchers must possess loyalty, dedication, and love for their chosen career.

Tasks of Flight Dispatchers:

  • Work with pilot-in-command in planning and analyzing flights
  • Check flight costs
  • Closely watch fuel needs, alternate landing areas, weather conditions
  • Chart a flight route based on the necessary data gathered
  • Communicate with other flight airport personnel about flight plan
  • Sign for flight release
  • Occasionally go along with pilots on flights to get accustomed with flight and landing procedures
  • Carefully plan and research alone or alongside other airline crews
  • Plan ahead, write reports on planned routes and scheduled flight departure and arrival, review flight procedures, and meet with other airline staffs

Flight Dispatcher Career:

Skill Test Pre-requisite

  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • Must be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language
  • Must have passed the appropriate flight dispatcher knowledge test since the beginning of the

24th month before the month in which he or she takes the skill test;

  • Must have satisfactorily accomplished the required trainings and obtained the prescribed aeronautical experience
  • Must have an endorsement from an authorized instructor certifying that the aspirant has received and logged instruction time within 60 days preceding the date of application for the skill test
  • Must have an endorsement from an authorized instructor certifying that the aspirant is prepared for the skill test
  • Must have an endorsement certifying that the applicant has demonstrated satisfactory knowledge of the subject areas in which the applicant was deficient on the Flight Dispatcher knowledge test.

Subjects Covered in the Flight Dispatcher Course

  • Graphic Weather
  • Non-graphic Weather
  • Procedures for Instrument Approach
  • Navigation
  • Basic and Advanced Aviation Weather Theory/Meteorology
  • The Information Manual for Aeronautics
  • Communications
  • Air Traffic Control
  • Airway Manuals
  • Limitations and Systems of large turbojet aircraft
  • Engine Performance and Aircraft Systems
  • Federal Aviation Regulations
  • Manual and Computerized Flight Planning

Interested in working as a flight dispatcher? Do you think you have what it takes to play an essential role in an air travel team? Grab your opportunity and contact us at

Adventure Flight Simulation and Sports

Gen Aviation Road,Hangar #6, Mactan Cebu International Airport, Lapu-Lapu City, Central Visayas, Philippines

(+63) (32) 268 9829 / (+63) 09322689829

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