O controle operacional é definido em 8900.1 Volume 3, Capítulo 25 como:
Operational control functions include, but are not limited to:
- Preflight planning;
- For part 121 operations, preparation and dissemination of dispatch/flight releases;
- Canceling a flight due to potential hazardous or unsafe conditions;
- Ensuring that only those operations authorized by the OpSpecs are conducted;
- Ensuring that only crewmembers who are trained and qualified in accordance with the applicable regulations are assigned to conduct a flight;
- For part 121 operations, ensuring that no flight is started unless it has been authorized by a dispatcher or person authorized to exercise operational control in accordance with §§ 121.593, 121.595, or 121.597, as applicable;
- Ensuring that crewmembers are in compliance with flight and duty time limitations and rest requirements prior to departing on a flight;
- Designating a pilot in command (PIC) and, where applicable, a second in command (SIC) for each flight;
- Providing the personnel who perform operational control functions (PIC, dispatcher, etc.) with access to all necessary information for the safe conduct of the flight (for example, weather, Notices to Airmen (NOTAM), airport aeronautical data (analysis), and inoperable instruments and equipment);
- Specifying the conditions under which a flight may be dispatched or released (weather minimums, flight planning, airworthiness of aircraft, aircraft loading, and fuel requirements);
- For part 121 operations, ensuring that when the conditions, limitations, and authorizations specified in a dispatch or flight release cannot be met, the flight is either cancelled, delayed, rerouted, or diverted;
- For part 121 operations, ensuring that each flight is conducted in accordance with the conditions and limitations of the dispatch or flight release;
- Ensuring that each flight is operated in accordance with the limitations of the MEL and CDL;
- For part 121 operations, monitoring the progress of each flight and initiating timely actions when the flight cannot be completed as planned, including diverting or terminating a flight;
- For part 135 operations, locating a flight for which a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight plan (FP) has not been filed;
- For part 121 operations, ensuring rapid and reliable communications in accordance with §§ 121.99 and 121.122, as applicable;
- Restricting or suspending operations in accordance with §§ 121.551, 121.553, or 135.69 as applicable; and
- Exercising the emergency authority described in §§ 121.557, 121.559, and 135.19, as applicable.
Essas funções são normalmente realizadas por várias pessoas:
- Programação de tripulação
- Diretor de Operações
- O PIC do voo
- Gerente do SOCC (System Ops Control Center)
- Diretor de treinamento
O controle operacional é implementado pelas pessoas acima e deve atingir todos os marcadores na definição acima. Isto significa que para exercer o controle operacional você deve sempre saber onde estão seus aviões, você deve determinar quem os pilota, planejar os vôos, garantir que os pilotos e aeronaves sejam legais, garantir que todos sejam treinados para as operações executadas e sempre poder se comunicar. com sua aeronave.
Também há menção aos Sistemas de Controle Operacional, que exigem que qualquer voo operado pela transportadora seja despachado, seguido e possa estar localizado em todos os momentos. Essas funções são normalmente executadas pelo despachante atribuído ao seu voo.
Outras leituras para além do 8900.1 podem ser encontradas em AC 120-101 para 121 ops.