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FINES propose for delayed flights...USA

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FINES propose for delayed flights...USA

Old 24th Oct 2007, 13:26
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FINES propose for delayed flights...USA

Fines have been proposed on all flights that are more than 15 minutes late, 70 percent of the time.

Just to open the discussion, I am sure some less than scrupulous airlines will push pilots, mechanics etc. to get things done at the cost of...you can fill in the blank.
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Old 24th Oct 2007, 16:43
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FFS! Who or what is going to be fined and by whom? At least put some coherence into your post if you want to start discussion.

Are you trying to say that the airlines are going to fine their aircrew for delays? Are the FAA going to fine the aircrew or the airline? Are the airport owners going to fine the airline or the crew? Are the crew going to fine the airport for the delay?

Based on your post, a flying pig could be proposing to fine flight XYZ123 for being more than 15 minutes late off blocks at least 70% of the time! Good luck to the proposer in trying to fine a "flight".

I would rather propose to whoever it is in the US that has some responsibility for controlling waste and unnecessary pollution get their act together and sort out the ground controllers at JFK. Never have I experienced such incompetence. You get some tired sounding woman on the 'ramp' frequency giving you start and push clearance and then told to contact 'ground'. Once on ground you are informed that there will be an indeterminate delay just for taxi out of the ramp, never mind the one or more hour it will take to get to the front of the queue once you start moving.

Whilst they have a 'gate hold' procedure, those of us using the international ramp have to talk to the 'ramp control' who have no co-ordination with 'ground control'. So, you end up sitting there with four engines running and the ground controller berating you for not having listened to the ATIS when, in fact, the ATIS didn't mention any 'ramp hold' procedures in the first place.

To make matters worse, after sitting there at idle, burning fuel at the rate of 2.6 tons an hour, for 15 minutes you ask the ground controller where you are in the queue and how long can we expect before we can join the back of the queue. The response is " at least 20 minutes". So, we ask them to give us some notice before we are due to taxi as we will be shutting down our engines. The ground controller assures us that we will be notified in plenty of time.

Just as we shut off the fuel on the fourth engine, guess what? Yes. We were told to start up and be ready to taxi in 5 minutes! I seriously think that these guys need to spend a bit of time with us on the flight deck to see what is involved.

Add to the above the fact that it can take over an hour to get to your gate after landing at JFK, thanks mainly to the fact that the ground controllers do not liaise with the ramp controllers. So, you have 'ramp control' clearing a/c to push and start to join a queue on the ramp that blocks any inbound a/c from getting anywhere near their gates.

It is just sad to see so many a/c, at least 50 or more, all with their engines running and not moving. If only they had the ability to organise their push and start sequences so that they weren't ending up with so many a/c burning anything between .8 and 2.6 tons of fuel an hour going absolutely nowhere.

Now, who is going to fine someone for not being too economical with other peoples JetA? Where's that darned flying pig when you need him?
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Old 24th Oct 2007, 17:29
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By John Crawley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government pressured airlines on Monday to cooperate with efforts to reduce delays at New York's John F. Kennedy airport by ensuring it can impose schedule cuts if carriers fail to act voluntarily.

In a regulatory filing one day before the Transportation Department convenes an unusual JFK scheduling conference with the airlines, the Federal Aviation Administration gave the facility its rarely used worst congestion rating.

The designation ensures schedule reductions for spring and summer travel will occur whether airlines agree to them or not. It also formally extends FAA authority to cut schedules of overseas carriers at JFK, if necessary. Dozens of international airlines operate flights there, including British Airways and AirFrance/KLM.

Delays at Kennedy and other New York area airports can affect flights nationally. The FAA already limits the number of takeoffs and landings at LaGuardia, which is close to JFK.

Follow the link for the rest. FWIW, NY/NJ Port Authority against the proposal.
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Old 24th Oct 2007, 17:33
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Here is the story... It appears the fines are on airlines that publish missleading schedules - eg Arrival times that are almost never met.


US may fine airlines for chronically delayed flights, citing deceptive business practices

WASHINGTON: Airlines that operate chronically delayed flights could face stiff fines in the coming weeks as the U.S. government concludes a six-month investigation into potentially deceptive business practices.

The Transportation Department in May began investigating flights that are at least 15 minutes late more than 70 percent of the time, and so far has identified 26 that meet those criteria, an agency spokesman said Tuesday.
If any of those 26 flights also were delayed in the most recent quarter being reviewed, the responsible airlines will face "significant financial penalties," agency spokesman Brian Turmail said. Results of the investigation are expected within weeks.

The commercial airlines trade group criticized the government's possible penalties.

"We're disappointed that they're taking this course of action given the effort by industry to significantly reduce delays," said David Castelveter, spokesman for the Air Transport Association.

"No one has greater incentive to move its flights on-time than the airlines," Castelveter said, because they cost the industry $6 billion (4.2 billion) per year and it means "we fail our customers." But the answer is not eliminating flights from the chronically delayed list, which are there based on customer demand, he added.

The Federal Aviation Administration handles roughly 85,000 flights per day, a number predicted to reach more than 111,000 daily flights by 2020.
But delays this summer reached record levels. The Transportation Department earlier this month said more than 25 percent of domestic flights arrived late between January and August easily the industry's worst performance since comparable data began being collected in 1995.

In August alone, 23 flights were late at least 90 percent of the time and more than 100 flights were late at least 80 percent of the time. Almost half of Atlantic Southeast Airlines' flights were delayed, and two arrived late every time they took off.

Kristen Loughman, a spokeswoman for the Delta Connection carrier owned by SkyWest Inc., said the company was not aware of any fines being considered by the government. Any Atlantic Southeast flight on the Transportation Department's monthly report of delays becomes its top priority to fix, she added.

Other airlines that operated flights that were late at least 90 percent of the time in August were: ExpressJet Holdings Inc., which flies regional service for Continental Airlines Inc.; SkyWest Inc.; AirTran Holdings Inc.; Delta Air Lines Inc. and its subsidiary Comair Inc.

Also Tuesday, federal aviation regulators opened a two-day summit aimed at fixing "epidemic" delays at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The latest government proposal for reducing congestion at JFK, which had the worst on-time departure record of any major U.S. airport through August, is to reduce the hourly flight limit by 20 percent.

Transportation Secretary Mary Peters repeated the government's desire for airlines to voluntarily change their summer 2008 flight schedules in order to alleviate record delays at JFK and other airports, but also reiterated that schedule reduction mandates remain an option.

Peters said she has "high hopes for market-based incentives," including raising landing fees for airlines during peak periods, to help reduce record delays at JFK and elsewhere.

But airlines say that so-called "congestion pricing" approach would simply result in higher fares and pledged to challenge mandates for it, or mandated schedule cuts, in court or legislatively.

Other recommendations for reducing airline delays are due by Dec. 10 from an aviation rules committee made up of airline executives, government officials and aviation groups. The scheduling summit is being carried out in parallel to that process and FAA officials expect a series of one-on-one meetings with airlines to continue through early December.
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Old 24th Oct 2007, 17:42
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It strikes me the airlines just need to publish realistic arrival times based on the high probability of delays occuring on some routes. If a flight is almost allways delayed 15 mins then can't really keep claiming the same unrealistic arrival time.
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Old 25th Oct 2007, 00:56
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In comparison to LHR and other airports outside the US, JFK and other large US airports have a huge amount of Regional Jets operating at these airports.

Would one solution be to offer fewer daily flights on the routes operated by these Regional Jets with larger aircraft? That could cut the number of movements significantly.

It seems to me that quite often, in the line of departures at JFK, Regional Jets are about half of the aircraft.
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Old 25th Oct 2007, 03:08
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Now, now oceancrosser, you are starting to think like a Regulator who actually regulates. That will never do!

As we see in many countries, if the regulator lets the airports book more flights each year than they have valid (workable) slots, then you will get congestion and delays. So, if the govt started fining the govt for allowing too many rotations????

(Waits for an American to put me straight about how the American system works but my bet is that the Federal govt is in the mix somewhere!!)
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Old 25th Oct 2007, 03:37
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No, the 'government' is not in there somewhere (or so it appears, except for ATC), it is mostly a problem of airline scheduling practices, and especially many reservations systems.
Priority on those is listed by departure and arrival times (even if they are almost never met) so the idea for many airlines is to be as 'optimistic' as possible...which of course, never pans out with any regularity.
As far as regional jets go...yep, there are quite a few, simply because larger airlines have cut back flights to smaller destinations, and pushed them on to their regional partners.
And, the traveling public, not to mention the officials in those smaller towns demand frequency, not necessarily larger aircraft.
And, to top it all off, air traffic controllers are retiring in record numbers, and ATC salaries, altho not all that bad, are slow to raise.
The ATC union is making noises again, and aren't especially pleased.
One must realise however, that the US ATC system moves far more air traffic than any other country (by a rather large margin), and not just airlines either, lots of general aviation traffic (many on IFR flight plans...think charter/corporate jets, just for starters) and I haven't even mentioned military flights...and there are a lot of those.
In fact, I am surprised it operates as well as it does, especially as most of those 'ole Westinghouse ATC radars are getting long in the tooth...very long in some cases.
And yet, I can file IFR with my private aeroplane, and in thirty minutes (or less) of filing, can be airbourne, with the route and altitude I have requested (usually GPS direct)...generally without any delay whatsoever. And, no fees either.
JFK, ORD, ATL and sometimes LAX, yes they have delays at times, but generally nothing like the two+ hour ATC delays I have experienced at MAN, during a busy summer season, flying to the Med.
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Old 25th Oct 2007, 07:54
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Old 25th Oct 2007, 23:56
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The ATC system in the USA is based on first come, first served basis. I believe we will see our larger airports implement a lottery for slots sometime in the near future.
The Regional Jets are used like pawns in a Chess game. For instance if a terminal gate isn't being used a certain number of times a day (KEWR) the airline who leases the gate must relinquish it for another carrier to use. Consequently, the gate lease holder will put the small jets on it at non peak hours.
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 00:42
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As 9 out of 10 delays in my flying life have been caused by late/lost/excess/bewildered/frightened/sick/confused/delerious/panicked or otherwise passengers, I propose we fine them!
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 02:51
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Most US airports have no slots etc . Airlines are free to add flights whenever they want to. Imagine what LHR would look like if that could be done? Same as JFK.
Problem is no regulation. And when there are, congress has a habit of tampering with them for anybody who makes campaign contributions or who promises to cut airfares.

Other than LGA, ORD, DCA and JFK there are no "slots" at any other US airports. No need for a "slot" to get a departure clearance. Airlines are free to operate what they want. Unfortunately they all want to add as many flights at the peak times as they can. If they do not, one of their competitors will and the delays will be there anyways. Anti trust regulations prevent them from discussing who can operate when. The little RJs allowed other airlines to offer flights on what were not productive enough routes for large airplanes. Nothing like being Number 40 inline at New York LGA and seeing that more than half of the aircraft ahead of you have fewer than 50 seats.
In the case of JFK it was necessary for congress to add lots of slots (as at LGA) for new airlines that promised low low fares to the voting public. So now there is a low fare airline in JFK with lots of flights. And there are lots of delays.
Also when foreign airlines want to add flights they let them have slots too. Unlike LHR where only 2 US carriers are even permitted to have slots. If they worked like this and forced the low fare carriers, new entrant foreign carriers to say, Stewart field way out in Newburg NY then maybe there would be less of a mess. If they could build a new airport to replace the fine one they have (well fine if you are in a DC 7 ) it would help. But unlike some places in the world, they cannot just go out and do that. Plus, we are spending all our money bring peace, freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 05:24
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After the 9/11 mass murders, FAA were not allowed onto our c0ckpit jumpseats. It would be quite helpful if (ATC) Controllers were still allowed to observe flight operations from our side of the "fence". If their background checks were questionable and they can not be permitted to sit behind us, then why are they finally allowed to work as full performance controllers in charge of thousands of lives streaking through the thin air? We just had a young pilot, who left Iraq in the 90s, sit on the jumpseat behind us. A paradox or a major contradiction? We also had a pilot on the seat about two years ago who is from Egypt. But a Controller born and raised in the US is not allowed on the jumpseat.

A newspaper article (either the "NY Times" or the "Wallstreet Journal") claimed months ago that the FAA "leadership" planned to both DEcrease ATC Controllers' pay 10% and INcrease their workload 10%. This was in the same paragraph.

Whether a plane has 30 (Dornier jet), 50 (CRJ) or 125 (DC9-50 or some 737s) seats, the airplane is given the same departure, enroute and approach separation from other aircraft. Maybe the airlines should be penalized by the FAA for operating the smallest jets into the busier airports which are not hubs? Far fewer slots per hour/day etc, or a cost penalty?

Do some major airlines really demand an efficient operation? Guess again...a 'code share airline' which operates CRJs with one US major airline is paid a specific fee for the departure-in makes no difference whether the flight is on time or three hours late. This same 'regional airline' not only acquired a large number of jets-in order to exploit a loophole in a pilot contract scope clause- with too few seats (< 50) to make any profit, it also returned many of them to the leasing companies. It was not bright enough to realize that with the same lease costs but 12% fewer seats per jet, little if any profit would be realized. And the 44-seat costly jets required the same aircraft radar separation as the 150-seat jets.

Multiply these crude 'slop factors' by many hundreds as the problems inherent in the codeshare systems also allow a mostly out-of-date air traffic technology to operate in a system with partial regulation since 1978.

Last edited by Ignition Override; 27th Oct 2007 at 06:07.
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 16:47
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Just to clarify, a flight is "on time" if it leaves the gate within 15 minutes of schedule. It doesn't matter if it then sits on the ramp awaiting a departure slot for 1, 2, 6 etc. hours, it was still an on-time departure.

Don't know about anyone else, but if my (passenger) flight is going to be late I'd much rather be in the terminal than on the plane. But which option do you think is more in the airline's interest ?
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