Eric Londono

SE student Eric Londono is in the small percentile of 22-year-olds who are working for the company they hope to stay at until they retire.

“[Dispatchers] are very similar to air traffic control. They and the pilots are directly responsible for the aircraft when it’s in flight,” Londono said.

Londono has been at Southwest Airlines for four months as an appearance technician. He will be leaving TCC after this spring semester and going to dispatch school for five weeks.

Though he has always wanted to be an airplane mechanic like his father, a full-time dispatcher at their top pay make 20,000 more than a mechanic. Londono said he would rather do the less strenuous job on the body for the bigger pay.

“Basically, I check weather. I tell them what flight path they are taking to ensure the aircraft gets to where it needs to go without bad weather. Because if there is bad weather, the plane normally has to be redirected,” he said. “Also, based on what the weather is like, I will tell them what runway they are taking off of because if there’s a southbound wind they’ll have to take off to the south because their minimum takeoff speed will be lower.”

He hopes to eventually have both licenses.

Kelli Henderson

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