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What Is The "Penalty Box"?

Wed Mar 09, 2005 8:59 am

What is the purpose? What has a pilot done to deserve holding a plane?
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Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 5:31 am

RE: What Is The "Penalty Box"?

Wed Mar 09, 2005 9:04 am

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.

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RE: What Is The "Penalty Box"?

Wed Mar 09, 2005 9:13 am

Quoting Firstclasser (Thread starter):
What is the purpose? What has a pilot done to deserve holding a plane?

It has nothing to do with anything disciplinary in nature, it's just the nickname for a spot/area on the airport where aircraft taxi to and wait out delays for ATC/WX, etc...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
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RE: What Is The "Penalty Box"?

Wed Mar 09, 2005 9:25 am

What has a pilot done to deserve holding a plane?

5 min. minor penalty for cutting in line

10 min. major for landing without clearance


[Edited 2005-03-09 01:28:44]
Ain't I a stinker?
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RE: What Is The "Penalty Box"?

Wed Mar 09, 2005 10:01 am


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.


Very amusing!  Smile

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