A new federal regulation imposing steep fines--$27,500 per passengers—on airlines that subject passengers to 3 hour or longer tarmac delays may be bearing fruit. In May, the first full month in which the regulation was in effect, only 5 flights suffered 3 hour or longer tarmac delays—compared to 34 in May 2009.
The airline industry trade group argues that the number of 3 hour or longer tarmac delays has been in decline for over year. BTS data, however, reveals a more mixed picture. April and March 2010 were likewise significantly lower than the numbers for 2009, but February 2010 was actually higher by 50%.
Read USA Today’s article on the new regulation here. See the BTS data for yourself here.