Dispatcher Advocates greater awareness for profession

A Licensed Aircraft Dispatcher and Ground Instructor with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Mrs. Victoria Adegbe, has called on the federal government and industry stakeholders to accord more respect and awareness for the job of aircraft dispatch as a key profession in the sector that plays a crucial role in the safety and efficiency of any flight.
Speaking at the official launch of the book titled; “Dispatch Made Easy: An Aircraft Dispatch Handbook,” which she authored, Mrs. Adegbe noted that unknown to so many, the Dispatcher is the one who essentially plans and ensures the smooth operation of a flight by checking the weather and deciding the safest flight path taking into account wind direction at destination or alternate airports, deciding on the amount of fuel to carry, the maximum baggage that can be safely airlifted, and advise pilots if conditions or paths change.
Asked why she embarked on writing such a book, Mrs. Adegbe remarked that during her training at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), there were no books of this nature written by a Nigerian that she could refer to as a resource material.
In his remarks, the chairman of the occasion Capt. Data Tarfa who is thr Captain of the Presidential Air Fleet/ Former Fleet Capt, Nigeria Airways, noted that the job of the Dispatcher including their role in ensuring the safety of flights cannot be over emphasised.
He said the Dispatcher is the one who determines if an aircraft will be released for flight or not based on his assessment of all the necessary parameters required for safe operations.
“This book is not only timely and useful for future generations, but comes as a challenge for many of us who were unable to put down our experience in a book like Victoria has done today,” he stressed.
The managing director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Engr. Saleh Dunoma who was represented at the occasion by the director of administration, Mr. ikechi Uko commended Mrs. Adegbe for the brilliant work in putting together such a book in an easy to read, qualitative and informative manner.
Similarly, the operations control manager, DANA Air, Mr. Sam Onwutuebe said being a Dispatcher himself, he is proud of the effort made by the author and expressed optimism that this will contribute in no small way in transforming the profession form one confined to a room in an airline office to receiving the recognition it duly deserves.
Mr. Moses Osayinlusi, from Air Peace and a representative of Flight Dispatchers’ Association of Nigeria (FLIDAN); Mr. Ola Orimogunje, Regional Director, Sabre Travel Network; Mr. Hamza Bukar, Regional Manager, Arik Air; and Mr. Jacob Edi, Media Adviser to Capt. Idris Wada, former Executive Governor of Kogi State.
In the Book Review done by Mr. Joseph Olotu, Base Operations Manager, Presidential Air Fleet (PAF) said, “Having spent six years within the halls and offices working shifts and odd hours, Victoria has gleaned sifted knowledge and garnered experience. Together with her passion for the profession, she has put together a good book with which to explain and broach the subject to amateur, professional and enthusiasts.” He added therefore that; “This book will go a long way in helping the public understand what processes are involved for any aircraft to take off and land successfully; for a Dispatcher’s duty is only completed when ALL his planes are safely back on the ground.” Corroborating his line of thought, Elder Gbenga Olowo, President, Aviation Safety Round Table & Sabre Travel Network, said; “There is no safe flying without a Dispatcher.”
Commenting on the job of the Dispatcher, the senior vice president – operations/deputy managing director, Arik Air, Capt. Ado Sanusi, said: the Dispatcher “is the Captain on Ground as he makes all the decisions and then gives the captain the brief. He decides the route that the airplane will follow, he decides the flight level, he decides the fuel that he will take, he decides the speed that he will fly, he decides a lot for the captain and he briefs the captain. So he works very closely with the flight crew and he is an integral part of the flight crew actually. So, the Dispatcher is a very essential aspect of conducting a safe flight from point A to B.”
Other guests at the forum include President, Aeronautical Information Services Association of Nigeria (AISAN) Mr. Babatunde Shittu who highlighted some important tools used by Dispatchers in a paper titled; “The Role of NOTAM To Any Flight Operation;”

(R – L) Mr. Ikechi Uko, Director of Administration, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN); Mrs. Victoria Adegbe,  Licensed Aircraft Dispatcher and Ground Instructor with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); and Capt. Data Tarfa, Presidential Air Fleet/Former Fleet Captain, Nigeria Airways Limited.

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