Investigation of the Potential for an Aircraft Dispatcher Shortage in the United States

Frank Manderino, Issac Richmond Nettey


This research effort determines current and projected demand for aircraft dispatchers and compares that to the education and training or the “production” of new aircraft dispatchers by Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 65 certificated schools in order to determine the extent of a potential shortage and define what may constitute sufficient numbers that are necessary to support a growing industry. A shortage of aircraft dispatchers will exert an adverse operational impact on the work of both pilots and aircraft maintenance technicians (AMTs). Unlike the shortage of pilots and AMTs, which have received attention from policymakers and practitioners, there has been limited, if any, serious attention to the possibility of a comparable shortage of aircraft dispatchers.  This research effort represents an initial and modest contribution towards addressing the need to investigate the potential for an aircraft dispatcher shortage in the United States.  In the main, it involves a review of the census data of certificated aircraft dispatchers from 2011-2017, which was secured from the Federal Aviation Administration and a survey of 54 of the 57 FAR Part 65 certificated schools listed with the Federal Aviation Administration. The authors plan to secure funding to conduct a survey to determine the aircraft dispatcher needs of the 168 FAR Part 121 certificate holders that offer domestic scheduled service as well as domestic and foreign scheduled operations.

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Secured the list of FAR Part 65 certificated schools from the FAA website

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Indianapolis FSDO. (2018, September). Personal Communication. Indianapolis Indiana, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States.


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