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Tarmac Delay Policies: A Passenger-Centric Analysis

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dc.contributor.author Yan, Chiwei
dc.contributor.author Vaze, Vikrant
dc.contributor.author Vanderboll, Allison
dc.contributor.author Barnhart, Cynthia
dc.date.accessioned 2016-01-12T14:21:59Z
dc.date.available 2016-01-12T14:21:59Z
dc.date.issued 2016-01-12
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/100800
dc.description.abstract In this paper, we analyze the effectiveness of the 2010 Tarmac Delay Rule from a passenger - centric point of view. The Tarmac Delay Rule stipulates that aircraft lift-off, or an opportunity for passengers to deplane, must occur no later than three hours after the cabin door closure at the gate of the departure airport; and that an opportunity for passengers to deplane must occur no later than three hours after the touchdown at the arrival airport. The Tarmac Delay Rule aims to protect enplaned passengers on commercial aircraft from excessively long delays on the tarmac upon taxi-out or taxi-in, and monetarily penalizes airlines that violate the stipulated three-hour tarmac time limit. Comparing the actual flight schedule and delay data after the Tarmac Delay Rule was in effect with that before, we find that the Rule has been highly effective in reducing the frequency of occurrence of long tarmac times. However, another significant effect of the rule has been the rise in flight cancellation rates. Cancellations result in passengers requiring rebooking, and often lead to extensive delay in reaching their final destinations. Using an algorithm to estimate passenger delay, we quantify delays to passengers in 2007, before the Tarmac Delay Rule was enacted, and compare these delays to those estimated for hypothetical scenarios with the Tarmac Delay Rule in effect for that same year. Our delay estimates are calculated using U.S. Department of Transportation data from 2007. Through our results and several sensitivity analyses, we show that the overall impact of the current Tarmac Delay Rule is a significant increase in passenger delays, especially for passengers scheduled to travel on the flights which are at risk of long tarmac delays. We evaluate the impacts on passengers of a number of rule variations, including changes to the maximum time on the tarmac, and variations in that maximum by time-of-day. Through extensive scenario analyses, we conclude that a better balance between the conflicting objectives of reducing the frequency of long tarmac times and reducing total passenger delays can be achieved through a modified version of the existing rule. This modified version involves increasing the tarmac time limit to 3.5 hours and only applying the rule to flights with planned departure times before 5pm. Finally, in order to implement the Rule more effectively, we suggest the tarmac time limit to be defined in terms of the time when the aircraft begin returning to the gate instead of being defined in terms of the time when passengers are allowed to deplane. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship This research was supported by the Federal Aviation Administration National Center of Excellence for Aviation Operations Research (NEXTOR II). en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries ICAT;2016-01
dc.subject Tarmac Delay Rule en_US
dc.subject long delays en_US
dc.title Tarmac Delay Policies: A Passenger-Centric Analysis en_US
dc.type Technical Report en_US


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