Excessive Tarmac Delay Plan

FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012
Airport Emergency Contingency Plan
Excessive Tarmac Delays
Harrisburg International Airport
Middletown, PA


Harrisburg International Airport has prepared this Emergency Contingency Plan pursuant to §42301 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. Questions regarding this plan can be directed to Timothy Edwards, Airport Executive Director.   Harrisburg International Airport is filing this plan with the Department of Transportation because (1) it is a commercial airport and (2) this airport may be used by an air carrier described in USC 42301(a)(1) for diversions.

This plan describes how, following excessive tarmac delays and to the extent practicable, Harrisburg International Airport will:

  • Provide assistance for the deplanement of passengers upon request of the airline
  • Provide for the sharing of facilities and make gates available at the airport
  • Provide a sterile area following excessive tarmac delays for passengers who have not yet cleared US Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Harrisburg International Airport has limited aircraft parking space and strongly encourages aircraft operators to contact the airport for prior coordination of diverted flights, except in the case of a declared in-flight emergency.   US Customs and Border Protection are not based at the airport and may require time to respond to the airport to process international diversions that deplane or cancel flights at MDT.

Airport Information

Airport Name:  Harrisburg International Airport, MDT
Plan Prepared by:  Timothy Edwards, Executive Director
Office:  717-948-3900
Email:  TEdwards@SARAA.org
Plan submission Date:  May 14, 2012
Plan revision Date:  May 3, 2017
Airport Category:  Small hub

Contact Information for Excessive Tarmac Delays

Any air carrier requiring assistance from the Airport must contact the airport through the Airport Operations office, 717-948-3919.   If unable to make contact through the Airport Operations number, contact the Airport Dispatch Center at 717-948-3501 and request that the Deputy Director, Operations, Security & Public Safety be notified of an excessive tarmac delay situation.

Plan to Provide for the Deplanement of Passengers and Airline Gate Availability Following Excessive Tarmac Delays

Harrisburg International Airport (MDT) recognizes that air carriers may require assistance from the Airport Authority to ensure compliance with the directives of DOT Part 259 (“Three-hour Tarmac Rule”) for flights operating at MDT.

The Airport staff is not trained in the docking of equipment to an aircraft for the safe deplanement of passengers from an aircraft, so the airport is, therefore, unable on its own to provide for the deplanement of passengers.  The airport will provide contact information for such support to an airline as soon as practicable after receiving a request at the contact number listed in this plan from an airline experiencing excessive tarmac delays.

There are a total of twelve passenger boarding gates at Harrisburg International Airport. Ten airline gates at Harrisburg International are under preferential lease to air carriers and are not controlled by the airport during those time periods when the tenant airline is using or scheduled to use the gates.  The airport may be able to direct a tenant airline to accommodate another air carrier at its preferentially leased gate during those times when the tenant airline is not using or scheduled to use the gate. We will direct our tenant air carriers to make gates and other facilities available to an air carrier seeking to deplane at a gate during those time periods the gates are not in use or not scheduled to be in use, to the maximum extent practicable.  Two common use gates may be assigned to diverted aircraft to the extent possible based on a number of factors including the size of the aircraft, availability of ground support equipment, or other factors existing at the time.

Upon request by an airline experiencing excessive tarmac delays, the Airport Authority may be able to provide assistance by:

  • providing transportation for passengers deplaning aircraft parked at remote locations
  • transporting items from the terminal to a remotely parked aircraft on request by an air carrier
  • providing contact information for airlines or the FBO who may have equipment and personnel to assist in safe passenger enplanement/deplanement

Excessive Tarmac Delay Situation Involving an International Diversion

Harrisburg International Airport does not have an international passenger processing facility, but does have a sterile area capable of accommodating limited numbers of international passengers.

Upon notification by the airline to the airport and the local US CBP office of an excessive tarmac delay situation involving an international diversion, international flights may be deplaned at a terminal gate assigned by the airport in compliance with the current CBP/MDT International Airport Diversion Plan.

Public Access to the Emergency Contingency Plan/Excessive Tarmac Delays

The Airport Emergency Contingency Plan/Excessive Tarmac Delays will be placed on the airport website:   flyhia.com