DOT Concludes Initial Investigation Into Tarmac Delay At Rochester | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Airborne Unlimited-

Airborne-Unmanned w/AUVSI-

Airborne Unlimited-

AMA Drone Report-

Airborne Unlimited-

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 02.19.18

Airborne-UnManned 02.13.18

Airborne 02.14.18

AMA Drone Report 02.15.18

Airborne 02.16.18


Airborne 02.19.18

Airborne-UnManned 02.13.18

Airborne 02.14.18

AMA Drone Report 02.15.18

Airborne 02.16.18

Sat, Aug 22, 2009

DOT Concludes Initial Investigation Into Tarmac Delay At Rochester

ExpressJet Crew Not Responsible For Keeping Passengers Onboard Overnight

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced Friday that his department has concluded the preliminary phase of its investigation into the Aug. 8 tarmac delay by Continental Airlines on a flight operated by ExpressJet Airlines. Passengers were stranded in a plane on the ground in Rochester, MN from 12:28 a.m. to about 6:00 a.m. with only pretzels provided by the carrier to eat.
"We have determined that the ExpressJet crew was not at fault. In fact, the flight crew repeatedly tried to get permission to deplane the passengers at the airport or obtain a bus for them," Secretary LaHood said. "The local representative of Mesaba Airlines improperly refused the requests of the captain to let her passengers off the plane. The representative incorrectly said that the airport was closed to passengers for security reasons, which led to this nightmare for those stuck on the plane," he said.
Mesaba is a wholly owned subsidiary of Northwest Airlines, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines.

The representative of Mesaba - the only carrier able to assist Continental at the airport - said that the airport was closed to passengers, apparently because there was no one from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) available to screen passengers. In fact, TSA procedures allow passengers to get off the plane, enter the terminal and re-board without being screened again as long as they remain in a sterile area. 

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood

"There was a complete lack of common sense here," Secretary LaHood said. "It's no wonder the flying public is so angry and frustrated."
Members of the Department's Aviation Enforcement Office interviewed passengers, the flight crew, airport personnel and others with knowledge of the situation. They also listened to audio recordings from the aircraft and the dispatcher. In addition, Continental's customer service commitment, contingency plan for flight delays and contract of carriage were reviewed.
"This is one of the most thorough investigations ever conducted by the Department's Aviation Enforcement Office," LaHood said. 

The Aviation Enforcement Office is considering the appropriate action to take against Mesaba as it completes the investigation, which it expects to conclude within a few weeks. The Department has proposed regulations requiring airlines to adopt contingency plans for lengthy tarmac delays and to incorporate these plans in their contract of carriage, and asked for comment on whether it should set a uniform standard of time after which carriers would be required to allow passengers to deplane. The findings from this investigation will be used to help formulate a final rule that will provide better protection for airline passengers.
Finally, the preliminary investigation showed that while the crew of the ExpressJet flight did all it could to assist the passengers, more senior personnel within Continental or ExpressJet should have become involved in an effort to obtain permission to take the passengers off the plane.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports Delta CEO Richard Anderson said in a statement Friday that he has contacted Contentental Chairman and CEO Larry Kellner to "ensure we fully understand the facts of this unfortunate incident. Delta is working with Mesaba to conduct an internal investigation, continue our full cooperation with the DOT and share all the facts with Continental."



More News

AMA Drone Report 02.15.18: AMA Expo East, Skydio R1, TSB Canada Report

Also: DJI Knowledge Quiz, GoFly Competition, Drone ID Rules Coming, FAA Unenthusiastic About Prosecuting? The Academy of Model Aeronautics will host the annual AMA Expo East at the>[...]

Airborne 02.16.18: R66 Wire-Strike Protection, Elk v Helo, Trump Budget

Also: Red Bull Picks Hartzell, SNC Dream Chaser, CH-53K Demo's Vehicle Lift, Emirates Firms Up A380 Orders Robinson has added wire strike protection provisions to its R66 options l>[...]

Airborne-Unmanned 02.13.18: FAA UAS Symposium, Airbus Delivers, Manned EHANG 184

Also: UAS Pilot Code, FAA Drone Program, SkyWatch Funding, Quantix Hybrid UAS For Farmers The FAA and AUVSI will co-host the 3rd Annual FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Symposiu>[...]

Aero-News: Quote of the Day (02.19.18)

“We are excited that InstantEye has been selected by the Marines as their squad-level sUAS asset. We worked with the Navy and the Marines for some time as they tested and eva>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (02.19.18)

Aero Linx: European Air Law Association (EALA) EALA was established in 1988 with the aim to promote the study of European air law and to provide an open forum for those with an int>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus





© 2007 - 2018 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC