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 airport authorities-to include sharing of gates and facilities if necessary,Transportation Security Administration, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
SkyWest's extended ground delay program plans require an aircraft to return back to the gate, or to 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.
SkyWest OCC/Flight Control office will work closely with our flight crew, local station operations, and the major partner's OCC/Flight Control to proactively manage delays and ensure the comfort and safety of 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 with adequate food and potable water based on factors such as aircraft type and trip length
- Will provide snacks and beverages to passengers no later than 2 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.