Contingency Plan for Lenghty Tarmac Delays


(Issued in Compliance with 14 CFR Part 259)

XL Airways France, in compliance with 14 CFR Part 259, has adopted this contingency plan in order to mitigate hardships for airline passengers during lengthy tarmac delays. This plan applies to XL Airways France’s scheduled and public charter flights at US airports where XL Airways France operates. This plan contains separate sections covering maximum hold times on aircraft delays, provisioning of adequate food and water, adequate medical attention and lavatory facilities, resources to implement the plan, and that the plan has been coordinated with airport authorities, TSA and CBP. As mentioned throughout this plan, the term “tarmac delay” refers to the holding of an aircraft on the ground either before take-off or after landing, where there is no opportunity to deplane.


1. Limits of lengthy onboard ground delays

Lengthy onboard ground delays can take place where the aircraft is at the gate or during taxi-out prior to departure, and/or during taxi-in after landing. During these phases of travel, the following limits apply:
For international flights that depart from or arrive at a U.S. airport and are covered by this Plan, XL Airways France will not permit an aircraft to remain on the ground for more than four (4) hours. Prior to reaching four (4) hours, XL Airways France will return the aircraft to the gate, or another suitable disembarkation point, where passengers are allowed to disembark.
Note: The following exceptions to the hard time limits apply to both domestic U.S.
and international flights to/from the United States:
Delays longer than these mentioned time limits may be necessary if (i) the pilot-in command determines that there is a safety-related or security-related reason why
the aircraft cannot leave its position on the tarmac and proceed to disembark passengers; or (ii) air traffic control advises the pilot-in-command that returning to the gate or another disembarkation point elsewhere in order to disembark passengers would significantly disrupt airport operations.


2. Notification of the delay and the cause of the delay

For all flights, XL Airways France will notify passengers onboard the delayed flight of the status of the delay every 30 minutes for the total amount of time that the aircraft is delayed, including the reasons for the delay if they are known.
In addition, 30 minutes after the scheduled departure time (including any revised departure time that passengers were notified about before boarding) and every 30 minutes thereafter, XL Airways France will make and repeat delay announcements in order to ensure that passengers know that they have the opportunity to deplane an aircraft if the opportunity to deplane actually exists.  Passengers who choose to disembark the aircraft may not be permitted to re-board and will be notified of this possibility if it exists.


3.    Adequate food and water

XL Airways France will provide all flights with adequate food and potable water on board the aircraft. During a tarmac delay XL Airways France will provide food and potable water to passengers, free of charge, no later than two (2) hours after the aircraft has left the gate or touched down at the airport, as the case may be, unless the  pilot-in-command determines that safety or security considerations prevent such service.


4. Adequate lavatory facilities

All XL Airways France aircraft are equipped with a minimum of three lavatories. XL Airways France may have fewer operating lavatories in the event of an inoperative lavatory but at least one lavatory must be operative. All lavatories are serviced prior to each flight. In the event that all lavatories become inoperative, XL Airways France will return to the gate as soon as practicable unless it is possible to immediately service the aircraft and return the lavatories to their former operating condition.


5. Passengers with special needs and Medical attention

XL Airways France will provide first aid on board and request medical attention from Airport Authorities if necessary whilst the aircraft is situated on the ground.
All XL Airways France aircraft are equipped with emergency medical kits (EMK) and in-flight stewards are trained in first aid. Should a medical situation arise where the  training and material available are considered inadequate for managing the situation, the pilot-in-command will be notified and a third party communication link will be established. Depending on the guidance issued by the communication link physician, the pilot-in-command will determine if the aircraft should return to the gate or hard stand for further medical treatment.
Special attention will be given by the crew to unaccompanied minors and passengers with disability during the tarmac delay.


6. Sufficient  Resources

XL Airways France will commit to providing sufficient resources in order to implement this plan fully. XL Airways France team members will work towards ensuring that all subject areas of this plan are successfully implemented.


7. Coordination with airports

XL Airways France will coordinate this plan with all airports it currently serves, and ensure that any new markets entered after plan implementations are fully advised of the plan before service begins.
XL Airways France will also coordinate this plan with all diversion airports listed in its Operating Specification (Ops SPECS).
This plan has been coordinated with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and with the TSA at all airports XL Airways France currently serves.


8. Plan amendments

XL Airways France may amend this plan at any time in order to decrease the time of the aircraft remaining on the tarmac or for delivery of food or drinking water.


9. Record Keeping:

XL Airways France (for US airports) will retain on file for a period of two (2) years information about any tarmac delay at a U.S airport that exceeds three (3) hours. The information to be retained will include:

  • Flight number and date
  • Length of and reason for the delay
  • Explanation for any tarmac delay exceeding 3 hours (why the aircraft did not return to the gate after 3 hours).
  • Services provided to passengers such as food, water, restroom and medical

Whether the flight ultimately took off or was cancelled