A flight dispatcher also known as an airline dispatcher or flight operations officer assists in planning flight paths, taking into account individual availability, aircraft performance and loading, enroute winds, thunderstorm and turbulence forecasts, airspace restrictions, and airport conditions. Dispatchers also provide a flight following service and advise pilots if conditions change. Their task is to ensure that all airline flights run on schedule.

The job is demanding as it requires dispatchers to accurately project variables, such as weather or passenger volume, which may affect various paths and destinations. Because, flight cancellations or delayed flight can affect other connections and travel plans, dispatchers must be able to think quickly to make decisions which affect not only flight crews, but also the passengers. In all situations, dispatchers are expected to make the most efficient decisions while taking into account all applicable regulations.

Flight dispatchers usually work in the operations center of the airline under great time-constraints with numerous distractions, so the abilities to remain calm, organized, and think clearly under pressure are important. Flight dispatchers are typically assigned regular shifts.

Trainee dispatchers can expect a salary of Rs 70000/- at the beginning of their career and advancement as per industry standards.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Collect the latest meteorological data and analyse the effects of the weather on the route, destination and alternate aerodromes.
  • Collect latest data on standard instrument departures, en-route facilities, noise abatement operational procedures, navigation aids, aerodrome facilities, ATC and communication procedures, NOTAM, runway conditions, search and rescue facilities and other information and regulations likely to affect the flight and brief the flight crew as required.
  • Prepare an operational flight plan consistent with standard instrument departures, noise abatement operational procedures, ATC regulations and the regulations of all the States to be overflown
  • Delay, Cancel or Re-route the fligh, taking into account likely weather conditions.
  • Provide the meteorological briefing to the flight crew.
  • Prepare and file the ATC flight plan.
  • In the event of an emergency, Initiate procedures as outlined in the operations manual and Convey information to the pilot-in-command

Training Overview

Flight Dispatchers training requirements are laid down in DGCA CAR 7, Series M Part II. Aspirants have the choice of undertaking their training in India as well as abroad in an ICAO contracting state. If done abroad, candidates need to follow the DGCA syllabus and apply for conversion to an Indian License on their return.

In India, Central Training Establishment, Hyderabad is the only DGCA approved Flight dispatcher Training provider that enrolls independent candidates. The advertisement for courses is made online through their website http://www.airindia.in/training.htm

In reality, almost all candidates have to go through airlines in India that are approved to conduct Flight Dispatcher Training. These airlines generally hire, train and license their own staff under a bond type agreement. Staff with experience in airline, airport or ground handling operational environment and familiar with crew, schedule and engineering limitations and impacts, are preferred. They are then approved by the DGCA to act as Flight Dispatcher.

A meteorologist working in dispatch organization, Air traffic controller and Pilots holding a valid CPL/ATPL are also eligible for Flight Dispatcher license with reduced requirements.

Training is divided in 2 parts:

1. Initial training – Required for the persons who have not previously carried out flight dispatch duties
2. Type training – Required to gain qualification on the aircraft model and its variants that the flight dispatcher will be assigned on.

Initial training is further divided in 2 parts:

1. Basic theoretical knowledge on aviation subjects.

2. Applied Practical Training comprising of:

  • Applied practical flight operations,
  • Route familiarization on actual Aircraft,
  • Flight dispatch functions (on job training),
  • Simulator LOFT observation.


EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATION DGCA requires 10+2 or an equivalent examination with Physics and Mathematics from a recognized Board/University. Airlines prefer Bachelor’s degree
AGE Minimum 21 years of age.
LANGUAGE Fluency in spoken and written English


Initial Ground Training

360 hours or 12 weeks of Ground Classes.

Exemption: Following candidates don’t need Initial Ground Training

  • Pilot holding a valid CPL/ATPL, Air traffic controller, Meteorologist with a total of two years of service.
  • Candidates with at least one year as an assistant in the dispatching of air transport.

DGCA/TRTO Exam Passing 70%

  • Air Navigation
  • Meteorology
  • Aircraft Systems & Performance
  • Weight & Balance
  • Flight Planning
  • Air Regulations
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Radio Telephony Restricted (RTR)
  • Aircraft Specific

(Exemption - Pilots holding a valid CPL/ATPL are only required to qualify in Technical Specific Examination including Performance)

Route Familiarization

25 hours on actual aircraft in preceding 12 months. Flight dispatcher must be able to monitor the flight crew intercommunication system and radio communications, and be able to observe the actions of the flight crew. The flight should include landings at as many aerodromes as practicable;

Applied Practical Training

1 Day (within 6 months of viva)

On Job Training

90 working days (within 6 months of viva)

(Exemptions - Candidates holding Foreign ICAO Flight Dispatcher License may be given credit of up to 8 weeks)

Simulator Observation

4 hours

Oral and practical test

Oral/practical test to demonstrate their proficiency to a Board at FSD, DGCA

DGCA License

DGCA Flight Dispatcher License valid for 5 years


Companies generally conduct walk-in Interviews.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Microsoft Office applications
  • SITA and Radio Telephony procedures
  • IATA Ramp handling course
  • IATA load control course
  • Ramp driving license
  • Dangerous Goods handling
  • Ramp safety qualification

Additional Trainings

Type Training Type training is required to gain qualification on the aircraft model and its variants that the flight dispatcher will be assigned on.
Transition training Training for flight dispatchers who are qualified on the aircraft type, but from a different operator. This will consist of operator indoctrination course with minimum duration 32 hours covering the operations manual and human factors.
Recurrent/ Refresher Training Recurrent training is conducted annually to ensure the maintenance of competencies, knowledge and skills through a series of theoretical training, hands- on exercises, simulated exercises, written exam. Recurrent training validity is 12 months.

Ground Training Modules

  • Air law
  • Aircraft General Knowledge
  • limitations of aeroplanes and engines
  • Aerodrome Operating Minima
  • Crew Administration – FDTL
  • Crew Briefing / Advisory Informations / In-flight follow up Procedures
  • Flight performance
  • Planning procedures
  • Weight and balance
  • Operational flight planning
  • Minimum equipment list
  • Human performance
  • Aeronautical meteorology
  • Navigation
  • Use of aeronautical documentation
  • Dangerous goods regulation
  • Aircraft accidents and incidents
  • Unlawful interference and sabotage of aircraft
  • Principles of flight
  • Radio communication
  • Airport Operations
  • Aviation Security

Central Training Establishment, Air India, Hyderabad

WEBSITE – http://cte.airindia.in/flightdispatcher.aspx
SELECTION Interview by selection committee
ELIGIBILITY Age of 21 years and 10+2 standard with mathematics and physic from a recognised Board / University
TUITION FEES Rs 200,000/- plus taxes (2012)