Dispatch Positions

Radio Operators

Radio Operators are responsible for tracking aircraft on behalf of the dispatcher and making sure that the dispatcher gets regular position reports for the aircraft; also responsible for radio communications with the aircraft when it comes to flight movements like take off and landing messages. Radio operators provide flight following duties to our contract and sister companies.

Radio operators are not regulated in the same manner as flight dispatchers. The only regulatory requirement for radio operators is an aeronautical radio license. Cougar Helicopters does go above and beyond the regulations by scheduling radio operators for portions of flight dispatch training. This only enhances the individual's knowledge of aviation and our operation, which in turn enhances our operation as a whole. We provide approximately five to seven days of on the job training and supply the employees with all necessary training material.

Flight Dispatchers

Flight Dispatchers have a more legal responsibility. They jointly share 50% of the responsibility (operational control) over each flight with the pilot in command. At any point prior to the aircraft taking off, the pilot or the dispatcher can say exercise their authority, say "no" and the flight stops. Once the aircraft is in the air, the dispatcher and pilot in command are responsible for flight watch keeping each other up to date with the most current information. The pilot in command will keep the dispatcher up to date with the flight conditions he/she is experiencing, and the dispatcher will keep the pilot in command up to date with weather forecasts and/or observations, air traffic control issues, and airport facilities. If either of them anticipate any factors that could possibly impact the validity of the operational flight plan, they will reassess the plan, make suggestions to each other, and determine the appropriate course of action to be taken. The pilot in command always has the final say once the flight is in progress.

All flight dispatcher applicants are required to have two specific Transport Canada exams written prior to being hired. Once hired, our department takes them through a rigorous training process, which is highly regulated by Transport Canada. It is usually four to five months before that person will actually work the shift by him/herself. The training entails ground school on all the aircraft; meteorology specific to Cougar's areas of operation; air regulations specific to Cougar; Human Factors training; and hazardous material (dangerous goods) training. In addition to all the classroom training, flight dispatchers get about eight hours flight time of cockpit familiarization, riding the "jump seat" observing the pilots. This gives the dispatcher an appreciation of what the pilot's environment is like. Combine that with 300 hours of on-the-job training with a qualified flight dispatcher, and then they are ready for their annual Transport Canada "Competency Check" were an inspector ensures they comply with a l the regulations.
Cougar Helicopters Inc.    |   A VIH Aviation Group Company    |