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Approximately 1,500 dispatchers are members of the Airline Dispatchers Federation. Most are employed by large airlines. Smaller airlines and some private firms also employ airplane dispatchers, but the number of dispatchers remains very small. The U.S. Department of Labor predicts a slight decline in job growth for dispatchers, but notes that population growth and an improving economy (which could lead to increased air travel) may offset this decline. An expected increase in air traffic in coming years may mean a slight increase in the number of airplane dispatchers needed. However, the centralization of dispatch offices using more advanced technology means that fewer dispatchers will be able to do more work. With improved communications equipment, a single dispatcher will be able to cover a larger area than is currently possible. Because of the relatively small size of this occupational field, its employment outlook is not particularly good.
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