Tarmac Delay Contingency Plan
Federal Regulations require each certificate holder operating under Part 121 to adopt contingency plans for lengthy airport ground delays. SkyWest strives to meet its commitment of excellent customer service by proactively identifying and mitigating lengthy airport ground delays associated with Air Traffic Control (ATC), weather or other conditions. SkyWest has sufficient resources to implement this plan. In connection with our major airline partners, our plans have been coordinated with the Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Customers and Border Protection, and airport authorities to include sharing of gates and facilities if necessary.
We are committed to assertively managing our operation with maximum safety and care, while minimizing passenger discomfort. In the event our major partners indicate they are unable to assist in gating and deplaning our passengers within the applicable time limit, SkyWest Flight Control will aggressively pursue alternative means of providing egress through a variety of avenues:
- Local airport authorities
- Other carriers serving the impacted airport
- Local ground handling entities and/or fixed base operators.
SkyWest ‘s extended ground delay program plans require an aircraft back to the gate, or remote parking away from the gate, to offer egress, before it spends three hours (for domestic flights or four hours for International flights) on the tarmac unless:
- The pilot-in-command (PIC) determines there is a safety or security risk to deplaning passengers, such as a weather event, or an air traffic control or government directive; or,
- ATC (Air Traffic Control) advises the PIC that a return to the gate, or allowing passengers to deplane at a location other than the gate, would significantly disrupt airport operations.
We will ensure the comfort and safety of our passengers in the following ways:
- Make timely announcements regarding the flight status from the time SkyWest becomes aware of the delay, and every 30 minutes thereafter
- Allow customers to use cell phones and laptop computers and move freely about the cabin, in accordance with safety and federal guidelines
- Make every reasonable effort to ensure the aircraft is properly serviced and appropriately provisioned, based on factors such as aircraft type and trip length
- Provide snacks and beverages to passengers no later than two hours after the aircraft leaves the gate and/or touches down, unless the PIC determines that safety or security considerations preclude such service
- Ensure access to medical attention for any passenger, if necessary
- Ensure aircraft lavatory(s) remain operable
- Ensure comfortable cabin temperature and adequate ventilation
- Flight deck/InFlight crew will monitor passenger and cabin conditions and notify SkyWest operational officials to change the course of action when necessary