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 when not already committed to other flights
  • 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 is 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:  January 18, 2023
Plan revision Date:  NA
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 from an airline experiencing excessive tarmac delays at the contact number listed in this plan.

There are a total of twelve passenger boarding gates at Harrisburg International Airport. Seven gates at Harrisburg International Airport are common use gates and are controlled by the airport.   Five gates at Harrisburg International are under preferential lease to air carriers and are not fully controlled by the airport.

The airport will direct our common use gate users to make a common use gate available to an air carrier seeking to deplane at a gate, to the maximum extent practical.

If additional gates are needed, we will direct tenant air carriers to make preferential and/or exclusive use gates and other facilities available to an air carrier seeking to deplane at a gate during those time periods when the tenant airline is not using, or not scheduled to use, the gate, to the maximum extent practicable.

Gates assigned to diverted aircraft may be 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 to the terminal building for passengers deplaning aircraft parked at remote locations
  • on request by an air carrier, assist in transporting items from the terminal to a remotely parked aircraft
  • 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