On February 14, 2012, President Barak Obama signed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (the “Act”) into law. Among other things, the Act requires U.S. carriers that operate scheduled passenger service or public charter service using any aircraft with a design capacity of 30 or more seats, and operators of a large hub, medium hub, small hub, or non-hub U.S. airports, to submit contingency plans for lengthy tarmac delay.
Under the statute airport contingency plans must contain a description of how the airport operator, to the maximum extent practicable, will: (1) provide for the deplanement of passengers following excessive tarmac delays; (2) provide for the sharing of facilities and make gates available at the airport in an emergency; and (3) provide a sterile area following excessive tarmac delays for passengers who have not yet cleared U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
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