The Flight Dispatchers Association of Nigeria (FLIDAN) has cried out over what it described as neglect
in conversations and decision making processes in the aviation industry.

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Speaking at the panel session of Quarter1 ART Business Breakfast Meeting organized by Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI) on May 2, 2024 at Golfview Hotel, Lagos, under the theme, ‘Manpower Strategy Training, Succession and Human Capital Development In The Nigerian Aviation Sector’, the Secretary General of FLIDAN, and CEO of Aviatrix Training, Mrs. Victoria Adegbe observed that regulators and other aviation stakeholders conveniently exclude Flight Dispatchers in their discussions.

Hence, according to her, even the regulator does not have available statistics that can enable stakeholders check and know the number of Flight Dispatchers that are licensed or the number that is unemployed.

She highlighted trends in the sector that are wrong in handling of flight dispatchers, lamenting the fact that many dispatchers are not type rated on the aircraft they are dispatching, while some that are type rated on one aircraft, are dispatching different aircraft in different outstations without being licensed on those aircraft, whereas each airline is supposed to have more than one dispatcher.

This, she said, has contributed to unemployment rate.

She said if a dispatcher is in the Control Room, he or she can coordinate with the pilot “but he is on the ground doing payloader work and other things” and this creates safety threat.

She said the United States of America has a concept of “The Trinity” referring to the Flight Dispatcher, Pilot and Air Traffic Controller because of the importance of Flight Dispatchers to air safety and that the United States started licensing dispatchers as far back as 1930s because of how important they are, but Nigeria started licensing them in year 2000.

Dispatchers’ licensing on aircraft they dispatch is critical so they can stand their ground in discussing flight dispatch with the pilot.