The Air Transport Association of America Board of Directors, at its regular quarterly meeting, discussed
procedures for dealing with extreme weather delays and announced a number of courses of action.* Each airline will continue to review and update its policies to
assure the safety, security and comfort of customers.
* Calls on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to work with
airlines to allow long-delayed flights to return to terminals in order
to offload passengers who choose to disembark - without losing that
flight’s position in the departure sequence.
* Asks the Department of Transportation (DOT) to review airline
and airport emergency contingency plans to make sure that the plans will
effectively address weather emergencies in a coordinated manner and
provide passengers with essential needs (food, water, lavatory
facilities and medical services).
* We ask DOT to promptly convene a meeting of air carriers,
airport representatives and the FAA to discuss procedures to better
respond to weather emergencies resulting in lengthy flight delays.
ATA President and CEO James C. May said, “We believe these steps offer
the best course of action. A rigid, national regulation would be
counterproductive, and could easily result in greater passenger
The board noted that recent delay events should serve to emphasize the
emerging crisis of capacity in our nation’s air traffic control system,
and also called for aggressive steps to modernize that system.