SkyWest Airlines Tarmac Delay Contingency Plan
Federal Regulations require each certificate holder operating under Part 121 to adopt contingency plans for lengthy airport ground delays. We are committed to assertively managing our operation with maximum safety and care, while minimizing passenger discomfort. 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 impacting conditions. SkyWest has committed sufficient resources and training to implement this plan effectively.
In connection with our major airline partners, our plans have been coordinated with the Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (for international flights), and respective authorities at all scheduled and diversion airports, to include sharing of gates, resources, and facilities, if necessary.
In the event our major partners indicate they are unable to assist in gating and deplaning our passengers within the applicable time limit, SkyWest's Operational Control Center 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 Tarmac Delay program plans require aircraft to begin returning to a suitable area for disembarkation within three hours of time (for domestic flights and flight departing or arriving in Canada, or four hours for other 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 and cause of delay(s), 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 Control Center officials to change the course of action, when necessary.
- In the event an aircraft is boarded but remains parked at a gate or remote location, with the main cabin door open, and an actual opportunity to egress exists, SkyWest will ensure that passengers are informed of this opportunity, beginning 30 minutes after embarkation, and continuing every 30 minutes thereafter, so long as the opportunity exists.