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Contingency Plan – Tarmac Delays

Cathay Pacific Contingency Plan for Lengthy Tarmac Delays in the United States

Cathay Pacific has established a Contingency Plan for Lengthy Tarmac Delays (the "Plan") that meets standards set for such plans by the US Department of Transportation under 14 C.F.R. Part 259. The Plan applies to:

  • Cathay Pacific-operated aircraft providing scheduled or public charter services at Airports in the United States where Cathay Pacific conducts such operations or normally would expect to divert its aircraft (each a "US Airport"). We coordinate the Plan with these US Airports (including terminal facility operators), US Customs and Border Protection, and the Transportation Security Administration.

Code-share flights operated by a different carrier are covered by that carrier's tarmac delay plan when a lengthy tarmac delay occurs at a US Airport.

The Plan assures that Cathay Pacific has sufficient resources to implement the plan. Our Integrated Operations Center (IOC) manages the Plan. If a lengthy tarmac delay occurs, the IOC will work with the pilot-in-command (PIC) and local Cathay Pacific Airport Services Team to:

  • Allow passengers to deplane before the tarmac delay exceeds four hours. (The "tarmac delay" is the time during which an aircraft is held on the ground with no opportunity for its passengers to deplane.) Deplaning will not be allowed if i) for a departing flight, the flight begins to return to a suitable disembarkation point no later than four hours after the main aircraft door is closed in order to deplane passengers; ii) the PIC determines there is a safety-related or security-related reason not to do so; or iii) if air traffic control advises the PIC that deplaning or moving to a disembarkation area or gate would significantly disrupt airport operations.
  • Provide passengers with adequate food and water no later than two hours following after the start of the tarmac delay. This will not occur if the PIC determines there is a safety-related or security-related reason not to do so.
  • Provide operable lavatory facilities and, if needed, adequate medical attention.
  • Notify passengers regarding the status of a tarmac delay when the delay exceeds 30 minutes, and thereafter will provide subsequent updates, including the reason for it (if known).
  • Timely notify passengers if an opportunity to deplane actually exists at a gate or another disembarkation area with the aircraft door open. Passengers who choose to deplane may not be permitted to re-board and will be notified of this possibility if it exists.