CAREER AS A METEOROLOGIST
The meteorologist analyzes weather data and prepares weather reports for the flight dispatcher, pilots, and other airline personnel concerned with weather information. The meteorologist assists the flight dispatcher in preparing flight plans. Working indoors at the airport in the airline operations office, the meteorologist uses weather facsimile machines, teletype machines, computer terminals, weather charts, and other meteorological data. Shift work is required, and the normal work week is 40 hours. Airlines, depending upon their size.
A meteorologist with a large airline, may be promoted to chief meteorologist or take a position as an assistant flight dispatcher. The employee may also use this experience to become a meteorologist for the National Weather Service or for a private meteorology service. A college degree with a major in meteorology is required. It is common to gain prior experience with military weather services or with the National Weather Service as a meteorological technician or meteorologist.
The schedule coordinator keeps track of the whereabouts of aircraft and crews; receives and relays reports of delays due to weather and mechanical problems; gives orders for substitution of aircraft when required, and handles the scheduling problems that arise when flights must be diverted to alternate airports. The schedule coordinator makes decisions affecting the seating arrangements of planes, turnarounds, estimated times of arrival, and unscheduled stops. He or she also determines aircraft availability, based on servicing and maintenance requirements. In scheduling crews, the schedule coordinator must consider many factors: sick calls, vacations, days off, flight hour limits, types of aircraft for which a crew is trained, and seniority bids or choices of flights selected by crew members.
The airline operations office at the airport is a very busy place. The schedule coordinator is surrounded by banks of phones, teletype machines, computers, and charts. The pressure of the job can be intense. A 40-hour work week, with shift work, is normal. The schedule coordinator, after starting as a clerk with responsibilities in one or two areas, can advance to assistant schedule coordinator, senior schedule coordinator, and then chief of schedule control. He or she also may work up to a position in the dispatcher's office as general dispatch clerk or an operations planner. A college degree with a major in air transport operations is useful preparation, but it is not mandatory.
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