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Contingency plan for lenghty tarmac delays
Before delays occur, Alitalia has a comprehensive plan designed to forecast and adjust to operational challenges and minimize lengthy delays while passengers are on board an aircraft. The Operations Control Centre (OCC) at Alitalia's headquarters is responsible for the daily execution of this plan, while keeping in mind the safety and well-being of our customers. The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) tarmac delay rule establishes hard time limits for tarmac delays. Alitalia's plan meets or exceeds all limits imposed by DOT’s rules. Alitalia has developed this detailed plan, applicable to U.S. airports that Alitalia regularly serves as well as its regular U.S. diversion airports, with established trigger points, to account for those times when unforeseen constraints result in tarmac delays.
- Alitalia will not keep passengers on board a tarmac delayed flight for more than four hours and will endeavor to provide passengers with an opportunity to deplane if such an opportunity exists unless the pilot-in-command determines that there is a safety or security reason for keeping passengers on board (e.g., dangerous weather conditions) or air traffic control advises that deplaning would significantly disrupt airport operations.
- Alitalia will provide adequate food and potable water for passengers no later than two hours after the aircraft leaves the gate (in the case of departure) or touches down (in the case of an arrival) if the aircraft remains on the tarmac, unless the pilot-in-command determines that safety or security considerations preclude such service.
- Alitalia will provide operable lavatory facilities, adequate medical attention, and other customer comfort needs while the aircraft remains on the tarmac.
- Alitalia will provide flight status notifications to passengers on a delayed flight every 30 minutes during a delay, along with information concerning the cause of the delay.
- Alitalia will provide passengers on a delayed flight with notifications beginning no later than 30 minutes after scheduled departure time (including any revised departure time that passengers were notified of before boarding) and every 30 minutes thereafter that they have the opportunity to deplane from the aircraft if the aircraft is at a gate or another disembarkation area with the door open if the opportunity to deplane actually exists.
- Alitalia has committed sufficient resources to fulfill and implement this plan and will meet the requirements of the DOT for extended tarmac delays, including diversions.
- Alitalia has coordinated this plan with local airport authorities, appropriate local governmental agencies, the Transportation Security Administration, and Customs and Border Protection (for U.S. airports regularly served by Alitalia as well as Alitalia’s regular U.S. diversion airports) to meet DOT’s requirements.
Alitalia’s Operations Control Centre (OCC) is responsible for the management and quality of this plan. The decision-making responsibility for this plan lies within the OCC. Ground Operations, Flight Operations and In-Flight Service will carry out this plan at the station and flight level.
This plan builds upon the standard operating procedures to handle extended tarmac delays and diversions. All stations have identified resources and developed procedures that will (circumstances permitting) allow them to effectively return an aircraft from the runway and open the door, giving the passengers the opportunity to deplane within specified time limits. Throughout the flight delay, communication between Alitalia's OCC and the flight crew will be continual. Alitalia will make decisions for the well-being of all customers aboard the affected flight.