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Airline Dispatchers I Need Your Help

Thu May 27, 2004 12:00 pm

My company is offering an internal dispatch scholarship...I'd like to apply and I have to write an essay. I need advice. I have no idea what to write. What do you consider some of the key qualities necessary to being a great dispatcher? What do you love about your job? What is the most rewarding part of your day? The most challenging? Thanks for your help.
Enough about flying lets talk about me!
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RE: Airline Dispatchers I Need Your Help

Thu May 27, 2004 12:07 pm

Key qualities would be proactive work ethic, attention for detail, being firm in decision making, and most of all be a strong advocate of operational control. My favorite thing about dispatching was the variety of challenges that arise and finding good solutions for them. The most rewarding part was going home knowing the thousands of lives and/or cargo we all had oversight over got to where they were going safely. Most challenging...would have to be severe weather days when tolerances become ever so close and your brain is on overload to make things work in the most efficient manner possible...
In the Alaska bush I'd rather have a two hour bladder and three hours of gas than vice versa.
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Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 5:42 am

RE: Airline Dispatchers I Need Your Help

Thu May 27, 2004 12:19 pm

Thank you! One of the reasons I am interested in this opportunity is because I feel as a dispatcher I'll be able to have a greater positive impact on the operation.
Enough about flying lets talk about me!
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RE: Airline Dispatchers I Need Your Help

Thu May 27, 2004 12:21 pm

You know what the job entails, i.e. the purpose of operational control, and the need for it?
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
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Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 5:42 am

RE: Airline Dispatchers I Need Your Help

Thu May 27, 2004 2:21 pm

Yes, I had a friend who was a dispatcher I went into work with her a couple of times to see what she does. It sounds like a fun challenge. I'm just trying to get some inspiration so I can figure out a starting point for my essay.
Enough about flying lets talk about me!
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RE: Airline Dispatchers I Need Your Help

Thu May 27, 2004 9:49 pm

Technically speaking..I think the greatest challenge for being a regional airline dispatcher for me is to come up with a legal flight plan but also a smart flight plan that is obviously acceptable to the crew, for me but also for the airline.

I have my certificate. I know my FAA regulations. It's not hard for me to come up with a legal flight plan that includes the fuel numbers the flight absolutely needs. The computer does most of that anyways.

However, is it a smart flight plan? Have I considered all the things that I can reasonably expect to happen? How about extensive taxi time in ATL or JFK..Airborne holding coming into ATL at 9 am in the morning? How would I comply with ATC reroute to DFW around the weather..Is that fog really going to burn off as forecasted? Is it wise to go now? Do I have a good alternate? How about passenger comfort in turbulent air? I think all of this will come with experience.

On the other hand, as a dispatcher I need to look at the economical aspects of the airline operation without sacrificing the acceptable level of safety. The airline expects me to run my flights on time and will come after me for weather cancellations, denied boardings and any extra fuel that needs proper justification. What can I say the airline is out there to make money. Balancing all of that may sometimes be difficult.

[Edited 2004-05-27 14:58:27]
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RE: Airline Dispatchers I Need Your Help

Fri May 28, 2004 6:28 am

Check out the Airline Dispatcher Federation website at www.dispatcher.org - lots of useful information for you about what the job entails. I agree with everything stated by Air1 and TokyoNarita - definitely need to be proactive and confident. Got to check EVERYTHING - make mistakes and the FAA can and will discipline you right down to suspending your FAA dispatch licence. Got to be decisive and not be afraid to say "NO" to management, who may be pressuring you to operate a flight under parameters that you feel uncomfortable with....remember the FAA will go after YOU for allowing the flight to operate. Got to have a good understanding of flying and in particular, instrument flying - many of us in my office have pilots licences....a good suggestion is to take the instrument rating ground school, it will be invaluable. Likewise, any courses you can take on Aviation Weather are invaluable because weather will be a fact of life for you every day. Got to be a team player and not be afraid to ask for help / suggestions from your colleagues. Got to be organized - you will be dealing with multiple flights and have to have operational control of all of them at all stages of their operation. Add weather into the equation, such as thunderstorms at your hub with several aircraft inbound and your workload goes through the roof.

Hope this doesn't intimidate you - it is a wonderful job provided you have the attributes mentioned. I enjoy the tremendous variety - I can be working the same flights day-in, day-out, yet every day is different - different parameters - different weather / different mechanical issues / different payloads, etc. No two flights are ever the same. Everyday, you will learn something new. You are often challenged by maximum take-off weights / payload restrictions / range restrictions, etc and you have to juggle these and come up with the best, safest operation you can - having enough fuel, but not too much /picking the best routing, which may involve you deviating around weather systems / picking the smoothest altitudes, etc. You can make a huge difference to the quality of a flight for both the passengers and for the airline - you are making decisions about how much fuel to carry for example, which has a huge impact on the bottom line of the carrier. I enjoy leaving my shift knowing that I have created the best possible product.
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RE: Airline Dispatchers I Need Your Help

Fri May 28, 2004 8:02 am

I do not work for an airline but the best thing I ever did
was get my dispatch license. This is a great career, not
just a job and I love it.

Flightplans should be safety first, pax comfort next and
lastly figuring out a way to also make the flight as cost efficient
as possible.

Its already been said but everyday is different. Learn something
new everyday and never be afraid to tell a Captain he/she cannot
get what they want.

Before I release any flight plan I ask myself 1 question:
"Would I feel comfortable if myself or one of my loved ones was on
this flight?", and I sleep well at night knowing I would.

I did not forget...I just misplaced the thought...

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