Goboeing From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 2662 posts, RR: 15 Reply 1, posted (8 years 9 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 11109 times:
There is probably a ground stop for all aircraft going to a particular airport. If the delay is not too long and there are planes waiting for gates then they can push back, free up the gate, and hold there for a bit. It is also possible that the delay popped up after pushback.
There could also be a departure delay for a certain fix or airway. All aircraft going to XYZ VOR, sit on the ground for 30 minutes because there are storms over XYZ.
Iowa744Fan From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 928 posts, RR: 1 Reply 4, posted (8 years 9 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 10923 times:
The penalty box is just the name that they use. As mentioned, if flights are in ground delay and other planes are waiting to use the gates, they may push back and park in this area so as to free up the gate. Similarly, when planes arrive early at some major airports or a delayed flight is still using the jetway, then the arriving flight is often sent to the penalty box to wait for the jetway to become available. Basically, it is an area that is "out of the way" (not meaning placed in some far off area of the airport) where a plane can park without blocking an active taxiway and inconveniencing other flights. For example, at O'Hare Airport, there is a penalty box just west of United's C concourse between taxiway A4 and A5 or A6. It is a small parking area that planes can pull into and wait so as not to block other aircraft.