June 5, 2014

NBAA’s Schedulers & Dispatchers (S&D) Committee has new leaders at the helm, and NBAA recently caught up with new Chairman Amber Finchum, of State Farm Insurance, and new Vice Chairman Eve Gregory, of C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., to get their thoughts on the goals of the committee and education for schedulers and dispatchers.

The S&D Committee, in addition to furthering the professional growth and heightening the awareness of the contributions of schedulers and dispatchers within the aviation industry, also plans the educational content for NBAA’s annual Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference, the premier event of its kind.

What is your vision for the S&D Committee moving forward?

Finchum: To continue to provide the best conference experience to the S&D attendees, and keep the hot industry topics in the forefront by staying ahead of the curve. We want to keep the momentum moving forward from the 2014 conference in New Orleans, where we highlighted how far schedulers and dispatchers have come in the last 25 years, and that we really are the hub of flight departments.

Gregory: My vision for the committee moving forward is the development of process improvements and setting standards for the years to come.

What are you most passionate about regarding S&D education and career development and the like?

Finchum: Offering quality educational opportunities at the conference, with tools attendees can take home and implement immediately. Keep in mind that this event may be the only opportunity that schedulers and dispatchers have to get out of the office for continuing education, training and career growth development.

Gregory: I am passionate about scholarships, getting quality scholarship donor companies, providing quality training opportunities and identifying highly qualified award recipients who would most benefit from these offerings.

What is the committee doing to help enhance the “professionalism” of schedulers and dispatchers, and to demonstrate that being a scheduler and dispatcher is a viable career path?

Finchum: We are committed to showing that schedulers and dispatchers are a valued and integral part of an aviation department. We are working on getting schedulers and dispatchers recognized and included in International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations audits. We would like to see more schedulers and dispatchers become Certified Aviation Managers (CAMs) since everything an S&D does touches the five domains covered in the CAM exam. The scheduler and dispatcher [role] is a high-functioning member of the flight department team making valuable contributions to safe operations.

Gregory: I have been involved with the committee since 2011, and in that time we have grown as a team, simplified processes and enhanced the attendee experience at the conference by offering tools to encourage professional growth. The Conference Training Initiative and CAM credits are just a few examples. Schedulers and dispatchers are multi-taskers, juggling information from customers, co-workers and management. We hope to provide them with the tools and knowledge so that they can flow information out to the rest of their organization and provide exceptional safety and customer service.