8900.1 CHG 94

Volume 3  general technical administration

chapter 22  Aircraft Dispatcher training and qualification Programs

Section 4  Aircraft Dispatcher Initial Equipment and Transition Ground Training Curriculum Segments

3-1681    GENERAL. This section contains direction and guidance to be used by principal operations inspectors (POI) when evaluating the content of aircraft dispatcher initial equipment and transition ground training curriculum segments. Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 121, § 121.422 requires that initial and transition aircraft dispatcher ground training curriculum segments include instruction in at least the following: general dispatch subjects, aircraft characteristics, operations procedures, and emergency procedures.

A.    General Dispatch Subjects. General dispatch subject areas must include the following:

·    International weather reports (if applicable);

·    Communications must include the characteristics of the systems to be used and the appropriate normal and emergency procedures to be used; and

·    Meteorology must include the various types of meteorological information (METI) and forecasts and interpretation of weather, including the forecasting of en route and terminal temperatures and other weather conditions; frontal systems; wind conditions; the use of actual and prognostic weather charts; and, when jet aircraft are involved, the inclusion of upper-air reports and forecasts, including turbulence.

B.    Weather Interpretation and Adverse Conditions. Weather interpretation and adverse conditions must be strongly emphasized in initial training, including at least the following:

·    Adverse weather phenomena must include clear air turbulence, wind shear, thunderstorms, icing, and volcanic ash;

·    Notice to Airmen (NOTAM);

·    Navigational charts and publications;

·    Joint dispatcher-pilot responsibilities;

·    Air traffic control (ATC) coordination procedures;

·    Familiarization with operational area; and

·    Characteristics of special airports and other operationally significant airports which the operator uses. These characteristics may include terrain, approach aids, or prevailing weather phenomena.

NOTE:  The airports covered should include the airports in the area for which the aircraft dispatcher will be responsible for after becoming qualified. The operator’s emphasis should be on airports that create special problems for aircraft dispatchers in the operator’s area of operations.

C.    Aircraft Characteristics. The operator should provide both general training and aircraft-specific training when the aircraft dispatcher student is to be qualified on more than one type of aircraft. Training must be conducted on the general operating characteristics of the aircraft groups that the operator uses, such as turbojet or reciprocating aircraft. A description of each aircraft the aircraft dispatcher will be authorized to release is also required. This training must be directly related to aircraft dispatcher duties. The operator’s training program should emphasize the following: aircraft operating and performance characteristics, navigation equipment, instrument approach and communications equipment, and emergency equipment. The operator must also provide training on the content and use of those portions of the flight manual (fm) applicable to aircraft dispatcher duties, such as minimum equipment lists (MEL), and abnormal and emergency procedures.

1)    Aircraft training must be tailored to aircraft dispatcher duties. It is not necessary for this training to contain the same degree of detail and emphasis on aircraft systems as exists in flightcrew training. POIs shall ensure that aircraft training is not conducted to the exclusion of other required training. For example, aircraft dispatchers should be taught that jet transport aircraft are equipped with constant speed drive (CSD) units; that CSDs are necessary for the proper functioning of the engine-driven generator; and that when a CSD is inoperative, the associated generator is also inoperative. Equipped with this knowledge, the aircraft dispatcher should be able to determine the correct action for an inoperative CSD by referring to the MEL. Aircraft dispatchers are not required to have detailed training on aircraft systems to comprehend this information.
2)    Operators may choose to conduct initial equipment training on one type of aircraft or to include all aircraft the operator operates in an initial new-hire curriculum. When the operator chooses to limit initial new-hire aircraft training to one specific type of aircraft, the aircraft dispatcher must be qualified on additional types of aircraft by means of transition training.
3)    Section 121.418(a) requires that operators conduct differences training when the air carrier has airplane variances within the same type of airplane. This training should focus on the differences which affect aircraft dispatcher duties, such as operating characteristics, performance limitations, and MELs.
Indicates new/changed information.

D.    Operations Procedures. Operators must provide training in the specific operations the aircraft dispatcher must perform and training relative to each type of aircraft the aircraft dispatcher is authorized to release. Operators must provide aircraft dispatchers with specific training in the following procedures:

·    Operations under adverse weather phenomena conditions must include clear air turbulence, wind shear, thunderstorms, icing, and volcanic ash;

·    Weight and balance (W&B) computations and load control procedures;

·    Aircraft performance computations, to include takeoff weight limitations based on departure runway, arrival runway, contaminated runways, en route limitations, and also engine-out limitations;

·    Flight-planning procedures, to include route selection, flight time, and fuel requirements analysis;

·    Dispatch release preparation;

·    Crew briefings;

·    Flight monitoring procedures;

·    Flightcrew response to various emergency situations, including the assistance the aircraft dispatcher can provide in each situation;

·    MEL and Configuration Deviation List (CDL) procedures;

·    Manual performance of all required procedures in case of the loss of automated capabilities;

·    Training in appropriate geographic areas;

·    ATC and instrument procedures, to include ground hold and central flow control procedures; and

·    Radio/telephone procedures.

E.    Emergency Procedures. Operators must provide training to aircraft dispatchers in the procedures the dispatcher is to follow in case of an emergency. This training must cover actions taken to aid the flightcrew and to notify the company, government, and private agencies.

3-1682    AREAS OF EMPHASIS. Operators should emphasize specific areas for each category of training in the aircraft dispatcher ground training curriculum segment.

A.    Initial New-Hire Training. Operators must provide thorough training in each subject area in the initial new-hire category of training. The operator must ensure that each aircraft dispatcher student has mastered each skill required to perform adequately on the job. In addition to the academic or classroom training, aircraft dispatchers are usually required to complete on-the-job training (OJT) to become proficient in the required aircraft dispatcher skills. Although 14 CFR does not require OJT, it is an effective method the operator can use to develop a new-hire aircraft dispatcher's skills in the finer points of aircraft dispatcher duties and responsibilities. Furthermore, it is one of the best training methods for qualifying aircraft dispatchers to the standard of performance required on competency checks.

B.    Initial Equipment Training. Operators must conduct initial equipment training when a currently qualified aircraft dispatcher is qualifying to dispatch an aircraft of a different group, such as turbojet, turbopropeller, or reciprocating aircraft. The operator should emphasize two areas in this training: the operating characteristics of the new aircraft and the new considerations an aircraft dispatcher should make as a result of the new aircraft. For example, when aircraft dispatchers are first learning to dispatch turbojet aircraft, training will be required in high altitude meteorology, clear air turbulence awareness, the tropopause, and jet streams.

C.    Transition Training. Operators must conduct transition training to qualify an aircraft dispatcher in a new type of aircraft of the same group. The aircraft dispatcher must be fully qualified as a dispatcher on an aircraft of the same group to be eligible for training in the transition category. Since qualified dispatchers may be assumed to possess a general familiarity with the characteristics of airplanes of the same group, the ground training curriculum segment consists almost exclusively of aircraft specific training on the new aircraft.


A.    Initial New-Hire and Initial Equipment Ground Training Hours. Section 121.422(c) specifies the following minimum programmed hours of instruction required for the aircraft dispatcher initial new-hire and initial equipment ground training curriculum segments are as follows:

·    Group I reciprocating airplanes—30 hours;

·    Group I turbopropeller airplanes—40 hours; and

·    Group II turbojet airplanes—40 hours.

B.    Transition Training Hours. Programmed hours for transition training are not specified in 14 CFR. The number of hours required for transition training varies widely depending on the similarity of the aircraft types involved and the experience of the aircraft dispatcher. With similar aircraft types, transition training may not have to be extensive. When differences between aircraft types are great, more extensive training is required.

C.    Determining General Ground Training Hours. POIs must consider the complexity of both the operation and the aircraft when evaluating an operator’s general ground training curriculum outline. Training for a complex type of operation may require more than the 40-hour minimum regulatory requirement. The proposed programmed hours should initially be at least the 40 hours specified in § 121.422. Normally, the required training can only be accomplished in the minimum 40 hours specified by regulation for simple operations with one or two types of aircraft. When complex operations and several different airplane types are involved, more hours are usually required. The actual required training hours can only be determined in the final approval process by the inspector’s observation and assessment of the training effectiveness. Reductions to the programmed hours are appropriate when the operator demonstrates that the training provided is sufficient.

D.    Reduction in Programmed Hours Request. Should an operator request a reduction in programmed hours for the Group I or Group II dispatcher initial new-hire and initial equipment ground training curriculum, the POI should not approve the request unless it includes a minimum of 32 programmed hours. This minimum should be maintained whether the reduction is based upon the operator’s complexity and aircraft, or upon the provisions specified in § 121.405(d). No reduction below 32 hours should be approved prior to coordination with the Air Transportation Division (AFS-200).

3-1684    EVALUATION OF AN AIRCRAFT DISPATCHER GENERAL GROUND TRAINING CURRICULUM SEGMENT OUTLINE FOR INITIAL APPROVAL. POIs must determine whether an operator’s proposed general ground training modules contain the information and training on skills required for aircraft dispatchers to become fully proficient in aircraft dispatcher duties and responsibilities. Inspectors should use the job aid in this section when evaluating the operator’s proposed curriculum segment outline, see Table 3-92, Aircraft Dispatcher Ground Training Segment Job Aid.

A.    Aircraft Dispatcher Ground Training Segment Job Aid. This job aid (Table 3-92) provided for guidance only, and must not be construed to be an outline of mandatory rules or regulatory requirements. The job aid is intended to assist inspectors during the evaluation of individual aircraft dispatcher ground training curriculum segment modules for both initial and final approval.

B.    Use of Job Aid. When using the job aid, inspectors should make a side-by-side comparison of the operator’s proposal. The job aid is organized with training subjects listed in the left column and evaluation criteria or remarks listed across the top. Inspectors may use the spaces within the matrix for notes, comments, dates, or checkmarks. There are also blank columns and rows in each job aid for inspectors to indicate additional training modules or evaluation criteria.

Table 3-92.  Aircraft Dispatcher Ground Training Segment Job Aid



Adequacy of Element/Events

Adequacy of Courseware

Training Aids and Facilities










Meteorology Reports & Forecast






Weather Interpret. Winds and Temperature






Terminal & Frontal Weather






International Weather






Upper Air Reports and Prog. Charts






Adverse Weather






Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) System






Navigational Publications






Flight Planning






Organized Track Systems and Procedures






Joint Dispatcher-Pilot Responsibility






Dispatch Release Preparation






Forecasting Terminal Temperatures






Radio Telephone Procedures






Geographic Area






Manual Flight Planning






Pilot-in-Command (PIC) Briefing












Airports, Terrain Aids, Approaches






Prevailing Weather Phenomena












General Characteristics

Description of Each Type






Operating & Performance Characteristics






Navigation and Communication Equipment and Capabilities






Emergency Equipment






Use of Flight Manual (fm)


















Weight & Balance (W&B)

Takeoff Performance Limits and Calculations






En Route Performance Limits and Calculations






Destination Limits and Calculations






Flight Planning Tracks, Fuel, Alternates






Indicates new/changed information. Minimum Equipment List (MEL) and Configuration Deviation List (CDL)






Air traffic control (ATC) and Flow Control






Release Preparation






Flight Monitoring






Redispatch In Flight






Emergency Procedures and Notification






Special Airports
























RESERVED. Paragraphs 3-1685 through 3-1700.