About the Program
What is an Aircraft Dispatcher?
An aircraft dispatcher is essentially a “non-flying pilot”. The dispatcher plans flights and routes, determines aircraft performance and loading, and gathers information regarding current and forecasted weather. They also update pilots with this information given enroute weather conditions, airspace restrictions, and airport and air traffic delays. Dispatchers also provide flight following for several flights at a time and work directly with flight crews in real-time to make flight plan changes and deal with emergency situations, should they occur.
Topics Covered in this Program
Security & Emergency Procedures
Air Traffic Control
Aircraft Loading and Performance
This program follows an FAA-mandated curriculum requiring 200 hours of instruction on specific topics deemed essential for a successful aircraft dispatcher. The training is offered in two formats: in-person and hybrid. The in-person course is offered for day and evening attendance options where the daytime course meets from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (with a one-hour lunch break) and the evening session meets from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Classes are taught Monday-Friday for the duration of the course period. The daytime class meets for five weeks while the evening class meets for ten weeks.
The hybrid course offers eight weeks of online classes where students can work on their assignments and tests with a more flexible time schedule. After completing the online lessons, students will need to take their FAA ADX knowledge test. Then they will attend the in-person portion for a three-week period in preparation for the FAA practical test. Classes will be held Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. (with a one-hour lunch break).
Instruction is provided in a classroom environment using a mix of lecture and interactive exercises as well as computer-based training. All in-person instruction will be held at the Lakeland-Linder International Airport in Lakeland, FL.
The in-person course fee covers all course materials, course tuition, and the testing fee for the first attempt at the FAA knowledge and practical tests. The hybrid course fee covers course tuition and the testing fee for the first attempt at the FAA practical test. Specific program cost information can be found on the registration page.
This course can be offered as an academic course towards the Aerospace Administration, AS (http://catalog.polk.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=45&poid=2579&returnto=1556) or as a non-credit certification course. Because the program can be offered as a certification program and not through the academic arm of the college, students may not be able to use traditional financial aid to fund the course cost. Students may be able to obtain outside funding through personal loans or grant programs. More information on these opportunities can be obtained through the Polk State Financial Aid Department (https://www.polk.edu/admission-aid/financial-aid/).