FLIGHT DISPATCHERS authorize all take-off and landings of aircraft and monitor a flight's progress to its destination. They develop flight plans for every flight. They consider en route and destination weather, winds, fuel required, alternate destinations, altitudes, and air traffic flow that enable aircraft to arrive at destinations on schedule with the maximum payload and the least operating cost. They maintain a constant watch on flights and are the go-between for pilots and ground service personnel. They periodically ride in the cockpit with the flight crew to observe flight routes, conditions, and airports.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $37,000 average per year ($17.75 per hour)
- A small occupation (6,800 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.3% per year)
Although a college degree with a major in air transportation or meteorology is useful preparation for FLIGHT DISPATCHERS, experience is equally important. Job applicants must have good vision, hearing, and enunciation, as well as an FAA dispatcher's license. They must know thoroughly the Federal Aviation Regulations on airline operations and be competent in airline communications and meteorology.