4 Skills Flight Dispatchers Need to Succeed

June 20, 2017

4 Skills Flight Dispatchers Need to Succeed

Compared to flight dispatchers, pilots have it easy.

They only need to worry about one flight at a time.

Dispatchers? They oversee many aircraft at once, making sure they all have safe, on-time departures and arrivals.

This involves staying on top of many variables, from wind and weather to aircraft weight limitations and airport delays.

That’s why flight dispatchers are also referred to as flight schedulers or flight planners, because all of those names accurately describe their job duties.

However you’d like to refer to it — dispatching, scheduling, planning — it’s serious business. Literally.

Many companies around the world depend on private aviation to transport sales teams and executives to important meetings.

When hiccups happen, many are affected.

Money may be lost.

This stresses people out.

Want to be a successful dispatcher? Don’t stress people out.

Let’s take a look at 4 critical skills that can carry flight dispatchers to success.

1. Attention to Detail

While a pilot is responsible for one flight at a time, dispatchers are often responsible for several at once.

Each flight has its own unique details, and dispatchers must be able to account for all of them.

In the business transportation industry, we subscribe to the idea that “the difference is in the details.”

Getting the details right makes (A) passengers pleased and (B) the company stand out from its competition.

To do so requires actively paying attention, taking accurate notes when needed, and staying highly organized.

2. Ability to Focus, and Flex

Because dispatchers and schedulers have multiple flights to manage — each with its own unique set of variables — they must have a strong ability to focus on specific tasks while zooming out and understanding the big picture.

We call this flexibility.

Having to adapt to changes in real-time, make critical decisions, and ensure plans are going as scheduled may tempt a dispatcher to multitask.

Unfortunately, studies have shown that multitasking just doesn’t work.

Instead, a dispatcher would do well to keep track of things by writing out an organized list or calendar, while tackling each item with laser-sharp focus.

The ability to flex between big picture and immediate task can be developed with practice and will help any dispatcher find the road to sustained success.

3. Time Management

In order to effectively organize and execute all the necessary tasks, successful flight dispatchers have mastered time management.

This is one of the most important skills for anybody to develop, but especially those who juggle many tasks.

Flight planners have so many things going on at once — producing efficient flight schedules, monitoring aircraft maintenance status, staying on top of weather patterns — that ineffective time management would be career death.

Without proper time management, a dispatcher cannot execute proper project management.

4. Think Clearly Under Pressure

This may be the most difficult skill to develop but it’s also the most important. A dispatcher may have sniper-like focus and attention to detail when everything’s calm, but loses their cool under pressure.

Our vast experience as business travel professionals have taught us that planning, scheduling and dispatching is usually loaded with pressure.

Some people naturally handle pressure more deftly than others, but it’s still a skill that can be learned and improved.

Here are a couple of articles that can help you develop clear thinking under pressure:

Can You Perform Under Pressure? (Fast Company) 

How Successful People Stay Calm (Forbes)

A Flight Dispatcher’s Best Friend

Even though flight planners already have a lot to deal with, their job isn’t done when the plane lands.

They have to consider the ground transportation aspect for their passengers’ travel plans.

To make this easy, we created a free app that makes booking ground transportation as easy as 1-2-3. Get it from iTunes or the Google Play Store.

And feel free to call us anytime and speak with our friendly professional staff. Think of us as your ground transport concierge — we’re here to make your jobs easier.

Empower your people to move forward.

Empower your people to move forward.

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