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NBAA Dispatch - The Schedulers and Dispatchers Source

Message from the Chair

Schedulers Encouraged to Stay Informed, Embrace Opportunity

By Dorette Kerr, John Deere Global Aviation Services

When I attended my first Schedulers & Dispatchers (S&D) Conference, I never imagined I would write a "Message From the Chair" 11 years later. I am honored to have the opportunity to serve in this position, and to have by my side Vice Chair Darren Hall of Fargo Jet Center. Together, we will coordinate the efforts of the talented and dedicated volunteer S&D Committee members, who share our passion for continuing education and increasing the recognition and professionalism of our fellow schedulers and dispatchers.

Earlier this year, we celebrated our history at the 20th anniversary S&D Conference in Long Beach, CA. Highlights included presentation of the first NBAA S&D Outstanding Achievement & Leadership Award to Sharon Forbes of DuPont Aviation; release of The Heritage, a book that documents 20 years of S&D Conferences; the debut of the S&D Pioneer Video; a display of the evolution of S&D workstations; and the announcement of the top five milestones that have shaped our profession. More than 70 people attended five Schedulers Professional Development Program (SPDP) courses, 18 more individuals received recognition for their longtime participation in SPDP and $40,000 in S&D scholarships and training awards were given. In addition, we welcomed 179 first-time Attendees and 48 new Exhibitors to the Conference.

In spite of the milestones within our industry, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen spoke to Attendees in Long Beach of the challenges that continue to face business aviation, noting how important it is for schedulers and dispatchers to stay informed about the issues facing our industry and to remind government officials about the value of business aviation to companies around the country.

We have learned recently of peers losing jobs due to economic conditions and the failure of detractors to realize how vital business aviation is to companies' ability to grow their businesses, retain a talented workforce and remain competitive in a global marketplace, even as airlines reduce the number of flights and cities they serve.

Now we are faced with additional challenges as each of us is being asked to identify opportunities within our flight departments to further reduce expenses, while continuing to provide safe and secure transportation and exceptional customer service.

A thorough understanding of current regulations is critical for schedulers and dispatchers to continue to effectively accomplish our missions. Our committee goals this year include further expansion of training and educational opportunities through online resources and regional groups and laying the groundwork for global outreach potential.

NBAA's S&D Committee strives to provide you with the tools to do your job better, but it is up to the loyal and dedicated schedulers, dispatchers and other flight department personnel to embrace these opportunities.