Contingency plan for lengthy tarmac delays Overview
Before delays occur, KLM has a comprehensive plan designed to adjust to operational challenges and lengthy delays while customers are on board the aircraft. The Department of Transportation's (DOT) tarmac delay rule establishes time limits for tarmac delays. KLM’s plan meets the limits imposed by this ruling. KLM assures its customers that it will not permit an aircraft to remain on the tarmac for more than four hours before allowing customers to deplane.
1. For international flights that depart from or arrive at a U.S. airport, we will not permit our aircraft to remain on the tarmac at a U.S. airport for more than four hours before allowing passengers to deplane, with the following exceptions:
a. For departing flights, when 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. If the aircraft is in an area that is not under the carrier’s control, the aircraft has begun to return to a suitable disembarkation point when a request is made to the Federal Aviation Administration control tower, airport authority, or other relevant authority directing the aircraft’s operations. If the aircraft is in an area under the carrier’s control, the aircraft has begun to return to a suitable disembarkation point when the pilot begins maneuvering the aircraft to a suitable disembarkation point; or
b. The pilot-in-command determines that deplaning passengers at a suitable disembarkation point would jeopardize passenger safety or security, or there is a safety-related or security-related reason the aircraft cannot leave its position on the tarmac to deplane passengers; or
c. Air traffic control advises the pilot-in-command that returning to a suitable disembarkation point to deplane passengers would significantly disrupt airport operations.
2. For all flights covered by the Plan, we will provide adequate food and potable water no later than two hours after our aircraft leaves the gate (in the case of a departure) or touches down (in the case of an arrival) if our aircraft remains on the tarmac, unless the pilot-in-command determines that safety or security considerations preclude such service.
3. For all flights covered by the Plan, we will provide operable lavatory facilities, maintain comfortable cabin temperatures, and ensure adequate medical attention if needed, while our aircraft remains on the tarmac.
4. We will notify the passengers on board its aircraft during a tarmac delay regarding the status of the delay when the tarmac delay exceeds 30 minutes.
5. We will notify passengers on board the aircraft that passengers have the opportunity to deplane each time the opportunity to deplane exists at a suitable disembarkation point for all departing flights and diversions.
6. We have sufficient resources to implement the Plan.
7. We have coordinated the Plan with all applicable airport authorities, including U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), at all U.S. airports that we serve, including all diversion airports, and, if necessary, will work with airport authorities and other airlines to share facilities and make gates available in an emergency.
Last updated: January 2023