Dispatcher Vs. Pilot
June 4th, 2019
Few people seem to understand what an aircraft dispatcher is – more specifically, what they do. Or how they are different from others in the aviation industry, especially pilots. So what are the differences between an airline pilot and an aircraft dispatcher?
The most obvious difference between the two is that the aircraft dispatcher does not actually operate the aircraft. The airline pilot handles that task. So that begs the question….what are they responsible for?
They are responsible for being familiar with regulations, procedures, and policies of their airline. They must know the systems of the aircraft they are dispatching. In addition, all weather products and theory related to any given flight. But that is not all. Aircraft dispatchers must also know FAA regulations, flight planning, emergency plans, schedules, union rules, and aircraft performance.
When you look at the list, it is very similar to what an airline pilot needs to know. The difference is that the aircraft dispatcher is doing the initial planning for the flight while the pilot is tasked with the execution. With that being said, the responsibility of the aircraft dispatcher to create a solid and well thought out plan is of the utmost importance.
These two aviation professionals must work together as a team to ensure the success of every flight. From a regulatory standpoint within the 121 environments, they can’t operate without one another. So communication, knowledge transfer and trust are vital.
The dispatcher is the first part of any commercial airline flight. They are the ones who set in motion the flight plan and ensure the safe operation throughout. They are not air traffic controllers, or pilots….but they are one of the most important people in the airline industry that you may have never heard of.