About the Program

What is an Aircraft Dispatcher?

A flight dispatcher is essentially a “non-flying pilot.” The dispatcher plans flights and flight routes, determines aircraft performance and loading, and constantly updates this information given enroute winds, thunderstorm and turbulence forecasts, airspace restrictions, and airport and air traffic conditions. 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
FAA Regulations
Security & Emergency Producers
Meteorology
Air Traffic Control
Communications
Navigation
Aircraft Loading and Performance
Practical Dispatching

Program Structure

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 day and evening attendance options where the daytime course meets from 8:00am-5:00 p.m. (with a one-hour lunch break) and the evening session meets from 6:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. Classes are taught daily, Monday-Friday, for the duration of the course period. The daytime class meets for five weeks while the evening class meets for ten weeks.

Instruction is provided in a classroom environment using a mix of lecture and interactive exercises as well as computer-based training.

Program Cost

Rather than having course participants piece together all required resources for this program, Polk State offers this program at a fixed and guaranteed cost. All course materials, course tuition, as well as the testing fee for the first attempt at the FAA Knowledge and Practical Tests are included making the course fee inclusive of all course-related expenses, thus allowing participants to better plan for the cost of training. Specific program cost information can be found on the registration page.

Because the program is offered as a certification program and not through the academic arm of the college, students cannot 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.