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Flight Dispatcher Career
How To become a Flight Dispatcher ?


How to become a Flight Dispatcher (Aircraft Dispatcher) ?


Get started on your path to become a certified flight dispatcher and a new career in aviation.


Flight Dispatcher have officially become a part of the aviation industry in 1938, however they did exist before, yet in various different forms and that kind of work wasn’t formalized legally. 


Flight dispatchers work with pilots to ensure airline compliance, establish flight plans, confirm safety measures, and track weather conditions for private, commercial, and cargo aircraft. Flight Dispatcher can be described as “the Captain on the ground.” The job of Flight Dispatcher is one of the most responsible and best paying jobs at an airline. 


The Flight Dispatcher shares responsibility for the flight with the Captain, and both are required to sign the Dispatch Release before the flight can legally operate. The dispatcher is responsible for planning the flight, taking into consideration the weather, any maintenance problems on the aircraft, navigational facilities at the appropriate airports, Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS), alternate airports and to exercise flight following while the flight is in progress. The dispatcher maintains communication with his or her flights and is responsible for notifying the Captain of any significant changes that would affect the safety of the flight. It is the responsibility of the dispatcher to delay or cancel a flight when necessary and to make any other operational decisions necessary to ensure the safety of the flight.


Working in commercial aviation is extremely exciting and rewarding. Especially for flight dispatchers who are like pilots’ hands on the ground. Representatives of both these professions have a lot of similar subjects as well as duties. They are like the eyes, the ears and the brain for the pilot; however, pilots are in charge of making the final decision and choosing correct moves depending on the information provided by a flight dispatcher.


Flight Dispatchers work behind the scenes to ensure the safety of flight. They share the overall responsibility for the safety of each flight with the captain and work to maintain safe, efficient operations for their company.


They have many responsibilities and must work with many different departments and personnel in an airline to manage a flight’s safe, on-time departure and arrival. While an airline pilot is in charge of one flight at a time, a dispatcher oversees many aircraft at once, making the aircraft dispatcher’s job a very busy one.


They plan passengers’ boarding and cargo, manage take-offs and completion procedures. Also, they check the weather maps and choose some of the safest routes for the destination. They are responsible for a large amount of the safe flight operations every day.  It makes an everyday routine a little bit different, when you know that each day of your work you help to ensure that people arrive at their destination safely.


On the job you will;


  • Producing flight plans while considering every aspect of the flight, such as fuel, winds, weather, maintenance issues, weight and balance, airport delays and many other factors
  • Calculating aircraft performance, limitations, weight and balance, airspeed, altitudes, distances and routes for each flight
  • Managing weather delays and routing or re-routing aircraft as necessary to maintain a safe, efficient flight
  • Ensuring each aircraft is properly equipped for the particular flight, or that the flight planning is properly adjusted for maintenance issues
  • Monitoring flight progress and alerting the captain of changes in weather, airport delays, runway closures, etc.
  • Cancelling or delaying flights when necessary
  • Determining the best course of action during an emergency situation, notifying the pilot of available options such as closest airports or runways to divert to, and then managing the diverted aircraft.
  • Work indoors at the airport in the airline operations office or control centre, use computers, calculators, weather charts and information, and loading reports
  • Especially in Europe the flight dispatcher also executes slot coordination between actual flights and Eurocontrol, i.e. the Central Flow Management Unit in Brussels/Belgium.
  • Make many rapid decisions concerning safety, flight regulations, and the economy of operations.



A career as an aircraft dispatcher can be very stressful. Although such workers are seated through many of their working hours, they must stay alert and be concentrated on flight. Such workers are employed full-time although overtime is common and shifts are on a rotating schedule that tends to include some nights and weekends.


The flight dispatcher doesn’t need to fly from one location to another. The dispatcher’s work places are normally located in a facility called “Flight Dispatch” or “Airline Operations Control” or “System Operations Control Centre”. These places are operational on a 24 hour around-the-clock basis. Most airlines have a "centralized" Operational Control Centre, usually located at or near the airline's main corporate headquarters. Some airlines, like Saudi Arabian Airlines and FedEx, have several operation control centres. But, the average most airlines have just one Dispatch Centre. Flight dispatchers have a chance to choose in which country they want to work, mostly, it can be near their home.


A flight dispatcher makes between $24,000 and $100,000 a year before benefits and bonuses.  In addition to that, such perks as health, dental and life insurance, paid holidays and vacation, free or reduced travel fares are included as well.


Aviation regulations require aircraft dispatchers to obtain certification/licence through training and testing. This licence will be issued by civil aviation authority of your country once you have completed requirements and passed exams. General speaking licence will be valid only in the country which the licence was issued. To be able to work in another country with the licence you have already you may need to convert your licence to the country’s one that you plan to work. Some countries may recognize your licence automatically some other may ask conversion to their local licence. Conversion process will not take too much time and effort.



Following is the basic career path of becoming flight dispatcher (these requirements may vary from one country to other);


  • Understand the duties of a flight dispatcher before you decide to pursue this career.
  • Minimum 21 years old.
  • Minimum having High School Diploma though a university certificate or degree might be preferred. (check your country’s civil aviation authority requirements)
  • English language (can read, write, speak, and understand the English language, it may be requested by the country’s civil aviation authority to proof English knowledge with accepted certificates)
  • Good medical health.Medical fitness for duty (it may be requested by the country’s civil aviation authority to proof health condition by getting report/certificate from approved medical centres)
  • Locate an approved flight dispatcher training school. , it can be found at www.havkar.com website and enroll in an aircraft dispatcher training program. At this training you’ll learn about flight planning, navigation systems, fuel requirements, plotting charts, and other necessary skills required for the job. Training itself will be theoretical and on the job training portions. Average cost of training is between 5.000USD and 10.000USD that depends on country and selected training. Training period will take 5 to 6 weeks approx.
  • Take your country’s civil aviation authority dispatcher certification/licence test.
  • Obtain your flight dispatcher certification/licence
  • Apply to open aircraft dispatcher positions through www.havkar.com for private airlines and freight/passenger carriers.
  • Maintain your Certification/Licence. (To keep your certificate/licence valid) you need to complete requirements continually during your career such as recurrent training etc.