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Effectiveness of tarmac rule in question

July 22, 2010, 06:02 pm

A recent study focusing on the tarmac delay rule is "misleading and premature," according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The report in question, authored by Joshua Marks of Marks Aviation and Darryl Jenkins of The Airline Zone, asserts that more flights will be cancelled as a direct result of the tarmac rule.

Effective April 29 of this year, the tarmac rule requires flight delays in excess of three hours to return passengers to the airport terminal or face fines up to $27,000 per passenger.

The authors assert that 110,000 passengers will benefit from not having to wait 3.26 hours in delays, however 2,600 flights will ultimately end up being cancelled, displacing thousands of travelers.

"We conclude that DOT's tarmac rules and punitive fine threats have driven significant cancellations and public costs far in excess of quantifiable benefits," the study authors wrote. "A transparent, rational fine structure, publicly available and disclosed, will reduce cancellations resulting from airlines' extreme risk-aversion and minimize the public costs."

USA Today analyzed data from the Bureau of Transportation and found that last June, 278 flights sat on the tarmac for at least three hours.ADNFCR-3158-ID-19903970-ADNFCR

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