Flight Operations Officer / Flight Dispatcher

Mission:
Establish several months in advance the routes that will be taken by the aircraft and table them at the regulatory agency of the country where he operates (Operations Officer).
Intervene a few hours before the departure of an airplane, and prepare the technical documentation that must be handed to the captain and also indicate the route to be followed, meteorological data and air traffic conditions (flight dispatcher).

Activities: 

  • Follow up flights in progress and be ready to intervene in case of an incident (passenger's disease, technical problem) might oblige diversion (Operation Officer).
  • Signal the pilot on a new route and eventually find a landing site in case of unforeseen circumstances (Operations Officer).
  • Be in constant contact with air traffic controllers (Flight Dispatcher).

Required skills and proficiency:

  • Mastery of geography, but also political data that prevent over flight of certain countries, weather conditions (winds) and, of course, aircraft capacities in terms of distance and fuel (Operations Officer).
  • Mastery of very powerful software used for flight preparation (Flight dispatcher).
  • Good knowledge of the concepts on navigation, air traffic, meteorology, geography required (Operations Officer and Flight dispatcher).

Scope of work: 
The Operations Officer and the flight dispatcher work in the "flight operations department" of a company, a hub where the entire fleet is managed in real time.

Education: 
Training in aviation for a few months offered by some schools is necessary. Examples include ENAC in Toulouse (operation officer in 7 months, can gain access through a competitive examination); The ESMA in Montpellier (Flight dispatcher in 16 weeks including an internship); The CREUFOP in Perpignan (Air Operations Technician, 5 months + 9 weeks internship). An Advanced Level certificate is required, a superior diploma in the science series is preferable.

Pathways to employment and career development: 
Employment opportunities are mostly possible with airline companies and especially airport assistance companies. After a few years of experience, you can take on the responsibility of a team by becoming "shift supervisor" or move to other managerial positions in the company to manage the fleet (manager), work on Regulations, flight safety...