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Fri, Mar 26, 2010

US Airways Asks For Tarmac Delay Exemption

Waiver Would Be Specific To Philadelphia Hub

US Airways is the latest of a small group of airlines to petition the Department of Transportation for a waiver of the tarmac delay rule set to go into effect on April 29th. The airline is asking only for special consideration at its hub in Philadelphia.

US Airways is asking for the Philly waiver because "it shares the same airspace, is part of the same air traffic control center (New York Center), and has the same congestion challenges as JFK, LaGuardia and Newark," the airline said in a document filed with the DOT.

CNN reports that US Airways argues that the proximity of the four airports within 100 air miles creates "the most complex airspace configuration in the world" in one of the smallest airspace regions in the country.

US Airways, along with Delta, American, and Continental, are concerened about the $27,000 per passenger fine being imposed at airports where congestion is a major problem.

The DOT has not ruled on any of the waiver requests it has received, but spokesmaan Bill Moseley said in a statement "Carriers have it within their power to schedule their flights more realistically, to have spare aircraft and crews available to avoid cancellations." Some airlines have threatened to cancel flights preemptively to avoid having to pay for lengthy tarmac delays.

FMI: www.usairways.com, www.dot.gov

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