Flight briefers have to stay on top of a lot of different variables. In order to give a pilot the information they need for their flight they must be able to interpret weather forecasts, keep on top of any ATC delays, and wade through all the NOTAM's to find the ones relevant to the flight plan.

The skill set overlaps with those of flight dispatchers. In the US flight dispatchers are required to have a certificate. Are flight briefers required to have a license or certification, either a dispatcher certificate or some other credentials?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Related: AvJobs FSS Job Description. It may be worth noting that in the U.S., weather briefings are provided by a private government contractor, Lockheed Martin. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Oct 21 '16 at 3:39

I imagine that the do receive plenty of training and I belive there was a time where they were "Flight Service Specialists" (this may have changed when LM took over). The FAA offers a great free course through their WINGS program on Flight Briefings and how they work on the other side (from the briefers stand point). I attended it recently and I recall that the woman giving the course was a former briefer and was a Flight Watch Specialist. I don't recall if that was a requirement or not thought (you can always reach out to her and ask). It should be noted that Flight Watch/Lockheed Martin Flight Services are now run by Lockheed Martin on contract to the government and are no longer run solely by the government as they once were, which may have changed things operationally (I have only ever known it in its current state).

As for staying on top of things, in todays modern times that is more the job of a computer than the briefer. Things like NOTAMS and AIRMETS/SIGMETS in route are given to them digitally once you tell them your course/route. There was once a time when this would have been a manual process but those days have long since passed. In my general experience flying VFR on a longer flight the briefer will not give you all the radio outage NOTAMS up front but will ask you if you "want to hear the radio nav aid notams" or something like that. They will give you things with in a certain distance from your planned route or if you ask for it. For example you can say "is VOR XXX in service?" and they will look it up for you.

Other Notes:


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.