North American Flight Control introduced a new dispatch training program in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Monday that will be one of the only such programs available in the state.
Now that it has officially gained Part 65 FAA approval for dispatch training, North American will offer a digital-friendly dispatch program that varies in length from five weeks to 12 weeks to fit students’ schedules.
About the Program
Christopher Snyder, owner of North American Flight Control and formally the director of system operations control for Compass Airlines, says he’s seen new dispatchers struggle with the transition to the airlines after completing training.
“A recurring issue I often found with schools is that they taught the FAA minimum which requires a dispatcher to do everything by hand, with no electronic devices. So when dispatchers would arrive at Compass, most kinda struggled with the transition because they only were taught the manual method and lacked practical skills for being consistent in the real-work environment.”
NAFC has designed the dispatch program to mitigate the difficult transition by allowing the use of digital capabilities during training. In addition to the FAA requirements, North American will teach real-world scenarios that a future dispatcher may face.
“Students’ desks have computers and monitors, most with double monitors to simulate that real-world environment,” Snyder said. “Again, a lot of schools will use a standard route and pre-printed weather and charts, whereas we use real-world weather and a variety of city-pair combinations to demonstrate to students some of the different dispatching challenges they’ll be exposed to in the real world.” Snyder said.
Dispatching, like all aviation professions, is a male-dominated field, NAFC wants to bring awareness and increase the number of women applying to and finishing the program. Women only account for 20 percent of the certificated aircraft dispatchers in the United States, and the numbers for people of color total less than half of that.
North American also offers refresher courses for current dispatchers, as well as leadership courses.