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Flight Operation Officer vs Flight Dispatcher

People are often confused with the job definition between Flight Operation Officer, Flight dispatcher and occasionally Ramp Agent. Often times, depending on which organization and which country you work for, the scope of job description, trainings and possibly salary can vary.


In many countries, such as the US or the Philippines, Flight dispatchers are often times called as flight operations officers. Where else, Flight Dispatchers in UK are often times known as 'Turn Around Coordinators'.

Both Flight Operation Officer, Flight dispatchers play a crucial role in ensuring safe and efficient flight operations. However, the definition of the jobs are occasionally not clearly divided due to the fact that their duties overlap according to the organization that one is working in.


So, what are the main differences between a Flight Operation Officer and a Flight dispatcher?

Flight Operation Officer (FOO)

Flight Operation Officer (FOO) is a terminology mainly used by ICAO and EASA.

Flight Operations Officer is a person who performs operational services or duties related to Pre-Flight preparations, such as ground handling arrangements, flight watch, movements, arranging fuels in different locations.

A flight operations officer is generally responsible for the coordination and confirmation of services and resources in support of an aircraft operation on the ground.

Flight Dispatcher

Flight Dispatcher is a terminology mainly used by the FAA.

Flight dispatchers focus on Flight planning, dealing with navigation, weather, performance, charts, NOTAMS etc. They are responsible to calculate fuel, route and aircraft performance requirements and provide support to the flight crew by conducting a two-way radio air to ground (depends on the company) communication with them.

According to the ICAO 10106 doc

According to the ICAO 10106 doc (Competency based Training and assessment manuel),

The Flight Operations Officer qualification can be categorized as an initial qualification level and in order to be a Flight Dispatcher or an Operations Controller, role specific qualification training is further required.

At ASISTIM Flight Dispatch Academy, we design our trainings based on the ICAO 10106 doc, which is an important training guideline for airline companies who are a member of IATA, which represents 83% of the world’s air traffic.



Other Terminologies

Operations Controller (OC)

Operations Controller identifies and applies operator standard data sources to gain relevant information indicating risks in the operator network. By identifying and applying standard procedures they evaluate potential risks related to flight safety, operations and handling, costs and customer experience.


Ramp Agent

Ramp agents are responsible for all work done on an aircraft during time on the ground. That includes loading and unloading aircraft baggage, operating baggage carts, guiding planes to and from their gates, de-icing planes and performing other airplane servicing duties.

Understanding the right terminology can help you choose the right career path and training needed.


To know more about how to become a flight dispatcher, read 4 Steps to become a Flight Dispatcher.


If you want to get a free consultation about what kind of courses you can take to become a flight dispatcher, contact us today.