Minimum age

Jakes787

New Member
I know the current minimum age for recieving the ticket is 23, but with the opprotunity to take the classes before 23 and then just wait to get the card, is there a point in the minimum age? I mean you have the R-ATP that you can get 141 at 1000 hours or military at 750, and be below 23. You are restricted from PIC until ATP mins are met, but the dispatch mins are 200 hours in a classroom and 200 hours in a classroom is 200 hours in a classroom. Not prolonged experience gaining hours of flying. Is there an argument to lower the minimum age to something like 20 or 21?
 

jetsguy737

Well-Known Member
The question that matters most lol. I've even asked my own dispatch managers and they aren't totally sure. Some think it's due to full brain development bc of all the multitasking required. Just my thoughts but it is weird. Hopefully someone here knows exactly why. I would like to know too.
 

FlyinRyan92

Well-Known Member
I was always told that it was due to being "mature" enough to exercise the high stress and multitasking that the job entails..that very well might be the final answer for the age restriction to get your ticket. This answer of mine def didnt provide much of anything but that's what I've been told my whole career.
 

manniax

Well-met in the Ka-tet
I always thought it was a somewhat arbitrary number, and mainly instituted because an ATP license requires the same minimum age. But as they have military ATC controllers under the age of 20, I don’t think that the maturity argument holds much water.
 

Jakes787

New Member
I always thought it was a somewhat arbitrary number, and mainly instituted because an ATP license requires the same minimum age. But as they have military ATC controllers under the age of 20, I don’t think that the maturity argument holds much water.
That was my thought, I mean our northern neighbors have the minimum of 21 I believe, not sure how it is down south.
 

A1TAPE

Well-Known Member
I was always told that it was due to being "mature" enough to exercise the high stress and multitasking that the job entails..that very well might be the final answer for the age restriction to get your ticket. This answer of mine def didnt provide much of anything but that's what I've been told my whole career.
Kinda ironic cuz sometimes the pilots feel more stress and multitasking than we do when we plan our flights. Its like we gotta plan them, but they gotta FLY them.
 

Flagship_dxer

Legacy Airline Dispatcher
Personally, I think for 121 passenger operations that closer to age 30 should be the minimum legal age. The regulations as written for obtaining the license do not take in account large portions of the actual dispatch job. Any age can send out flight plans and weather information. But dispatchers do more than that. I think having maturity and life experience are a major part of dealing with many of the situations that a dispatcher encounters. When the regulations were written, age 23 was at a much different stage in life than it is currently. Culturally and economically, this country was in a much different place. Today, at age 23 many are still living at home with parents and just finishing college. I think going from no aviation and no work experience at age 23 to dealing with inflight emergencies and security issues with just a few months training from dispatch school to the desk is putting someone in a position that they really shouldn't be in. It is just asking for problems.

With the money that dispatchers make and the responsibilities that we have, the first job after one month of dispatch school should not be carrying people around unless you have a solid background in airline operations. Pilots dont go from private pilot straight to the left seat at an airline. Airline mechanics take several years just to get their license. ATCers take several years to go through training to be certified and need training and certification whenever they move into new areas. It should be more difficult and challenging to become a dispatcher at a 121 passenger or cargo airline. I think a higher minimum age and/or combination of airline operations experience should be part of the requirements for obtaining a dispatch license and job.
 

LastMinuteAirline

Well-Known Member
Personally, I think for 121 passenger operations that closer to age 30 should be the minimum legal age. The regulations as written for obtaining the license do not take in account large portions of the actual dispatch job. Any age can send out flight plans and weather information. But dispatchers do more than that. I think having maturity and life experience are a major part of dealing with many of the situations that a dispatcher encounters. When the regulations were written, age 23 was at a much different stage in life than it is currently. Culturally and economically, this country was in a much different place. Today, at age 23 many are still living at home with parents and just finishing college. I think going from no aviation and no work experience at age 23 to dealing with inflight emergencies and security issues with just a few months training from dispatch school to the desk is putting someone in a position that they really shouldn't be in. It is just asking for problems.

With the money that dispatchers make and the responsibilities that we have, the first job after one month of dispatch school should not be carrying people around unless you have a solid background in airline operations. Pilots dont go from private pilot straight to the left seat at an airline. Airline mechanics take several years just to get their license. ATCers take several years to go through training to be certified and need training and certification whenever they move into new areas. It should be more difficult and challenging to become a dispatcher at a 121 passenger or cargo airline. I think a higher minimum age and/or combination of airline operations experience should be part of the requirements for obtaining a dispatch license and job.
It seems to me that age has little to do with the issues you just mentioned. It sounds like more what you're after is stricter training/hiring qualifications, which I can get on board with. A 23 year old with no aviation experience has the same aviation experience as a 30 year old with no aviation experience. But a 23 year old who started flying at 16, worked the ramp at 18, and has an aviation college degree by 22, has every right to compete for jobs/responsibility. There are also 23 year olds flying F-18s with deadly payload. The difference is in training not age. I agree that training should be longer, from the company, not the government. I also think that assistant dispatchers should be more prevalent. Not the kind that just whip up plans and hands it off but more of an apprenticeship. Looking back at my first job, it is kind of terrifying my lack of knowledge and understanding.
 

4EngineETOPS

Well-Known Member
It seems to me that age has little to do with the issues you just mentioned. It sounds like more what you're after is stricter training/hiring qualifications, which I can get on board with. A 23 year old with no aviation experience has the same aviation experience as a 30 year old with no aviation experience. But a 23 year old who started flying at 16, worked the ramp at 18, and has an aviation college degree by 22, has every right to compete for jobs/responsibility. There are also 23 year olds flying F-18s with deadly payload. The difference is in training not age. I agree that training should be longer, from the company, not the government. I also think that assistant dispatchers should be more prevalent. Not the kind that just whip up plans and hands it off but more of an apprenticeship. Looking back at my first job, it is kind of terrifying my lack of knowledge and understanding.
I completely agree that a significantly increased amount of classroom and OJT training is necessary.

I'm not so sure about assistant dispatchers. My own personal preference is that I don't want or need an assistant dispatcher helping work my desk. Getting OJT override pay while providing OJT is one thing, but I like doing my own thing while working a regular desk. I don't trust anyone but myself when my name is going on the release.
 

dx8709

Well-Known Member
Personally, I think for 121 passenger operations that closer to age 30 should be the minimum legal age. The regulations as written for obtaining the license do not take in account large portions of the actual dispatch job. Any age can send out flight plans and weather information. But dispatchers do more than that. I think having maturity and life experience are a major part of dealing with many of the situations that a dispatcher encounters. When the regulations were written, age 23 was at a much different stage in life than it is currently. Culturally and economically, this country was in a much different place. Today, at age 23 many are still living at home with parents and just finishing college. I think going from no aviation and no work experience at age 23 to dealing with inflight emergencies and security issues with just a few months training from dispatch school to the desk is putting someone in a position that they really shouldn't be in. It is just asking for problems.

With the money that dispatchers make and the responsibilities that we have, the first job after one month of dispatch school should not be carrying people around unless you have a solid background in airline operations. Pilots dont go from private pilot straight to the left seat at an airline. Airline mechanics take several years just to get their license. ATCers take several years to go through training to be certified and need training and certification whenever they move into new areas. It should be more difficult and challenging to become a dispatcher at a 121 passenger or cargo airline. I think a higher minimum age and/or combination of airline operations experience should be part of the requirements for obtaining a dispatch license and job.
While yes, ATC's go through several years of training to be certified, the FAA also has a maximum age of 31 for applicants to enter the academy. One of the psychologists at CAMI who has been searching for the "ideal" ATC candidate profile for decades said it was because learning becomes much harder as you get older. Any time they tried to recruit people above that age the results were totally abysmal. The military also caps entry age at around 27 for those who want to become pilots. And it wasn't long ago that airline pilots had to be out the door by age 60.

It's just a fact of life that as you age you lose the mojo that stressful, task intensive jobs like ours require, and thus the benefits of age and experience start to taper off sharply at a time when people in other professions are at their peak. So in reality, the ability to multitask and make complex decisions for hours a day is much easier when you are young and your brain is a big sponge. I have trained brand new DXers who were middle age or older and it was very difficult for them to retain certain concepts. They had to put in 3x the work of someone half their age to get through.
 
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