AM
Topic Author
Posts: 598
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 1999 8:49 am

"Block Time"

Sat Feb 08, 2003 7:07 am

Just a quick, silly question. What's the difference between scheduled time, block time and ETE?
"... for there you have been and there you will long to return."
 
Mr Spaceman
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

RE: "Block Time"

Sat Feb 08, 2003 8:38 am

Hello AM.

In the late 80's/early 90's, I worked on a ramp a Toronto Intl (YYZ), for a Corporate Jet FBO (Fixed Base Operator). Our customer pilots that were scheduled to depart at a certain time on a specific day needed to contact ATC's flight services and arrange for a departure "Block Time". I could do this on behalf of the pilots if they requested it. This was a "one hour" period of time in which their aircraft was allowed to depart. I believe the purpose of this procedure was to give ATC an idea of how many aircraft to expect for departure at that time of day. I think the rule was that a pilot had to start taxiing within one hour after his given Block Time (a 1 hour grace period). So, if your given Block Time was 10:00 am, you had up to 11:00 am to contact Ground Control for taxi clearance.

Only a certain amount of Block Time hours were availiable for each hour of the day (a way for ATC to control the amount of aircraft movements), so if a pilot forgot to arrange for a "Block Time" for the hour he was scheduled to depart, well, he'd have to wait for the next availiable one. Also, if a pilot didn't contact ATC within this one hour period of time, not only would he NOT be given a clearance, he could be fined money for the inconvienance he caused the Block Time system (because another aircraft wanting to depart could have used that time).

You could cancel your Block Time if something was causing a delay, such a passengers, maintenance, weather, etc, however, ATC wouldn't appreciate this being done at the last minute.

I hope this is the same type of "Block Time" you are asking about. It aplies to all aircraft movements at an airport that uses this system (GA, corporate and commercial aircraft).

I suspect that if Block Times were/are used for departures, then they could apply to arrivals as well. Although arrival Block Times might have different rules.

PS, guys, if my memory of a "Block Time" is way off the mark....please set me straight! Big grin

Chris  Smile
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
AAR90
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

RE: "Block Time"

Mon Feb 10, 2003 11:09 am

We don't use the term officially at AA, but its common useage indicates "out" (gate departure) until "in" (gate arrival). IOW, all flight and taxi time. My limited experience renting small planes leads me to believe the term came from when you removed the chocks (normally "blocks of wood") to start taxi until you installed the chocks after parking. Hence the terms "block-to-block" or "block hours" --which is how I rent small planes (block hours vs. engine time vs. reserved hours/days).
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
Guest

RE: "Block Time"

Thu Feb 13, 2003 10:44 am

AAR90 absolutely correct - block time... is generally the OUT and the IN time, for departure and arrival, respectively... Incidentally, many airlines pay their flight crews by the greater of actual, or scheduled "block time"...
xxx
We also account of "air time" rather than "block time" for maintenance purpose, that is the time OFF and ON, takeoff and landing... The accumulated flight time for an aircraft is based on air time, not block time...
xxx
Incidentally, my airline also logs "door closed and door openend" times, this to measure the efficiency of passenger handling, i.e. door closed "on time" shows outstanding passenger boarding... and "block time OUT" within 15 minutes of scheduled departure is considered "on time"...
xxx
Happy contrails  Smile
(s) Skipper
 
AM
Topic Author
Posts: 598
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 1999 8:49 am

RE: "Block Time"

Thu Feb 13, 2003 2:14 pm

Thanks Captains.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
"... for there you have been and there you will long to return."
 
AAR90
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

RE: "Block Time"

Fri Feb 14, 2003 2:33 am

Hello Skipper,

AA records all those times that you mentioned (and a whole lot more). An "on-time" departure for gate agents is when the door is closed (the last time). An "on-time" departure for AA purposes is brake release within 5 minutes of scheduled departure --don't recall what the DOT uses (5 or 15 minutes). Pilots are required to input any/all delays encountered compared against the theoretical "as if you were the only airplane" scenario. Brakes parked (the last time) more than 14 minutes past scheduled arrival time is a "late" arrival for AA & DOT purposes. Time until door opening after brakes parked is again for internal customer service use. AA also has the automatic engine performance recording at some point(s) during the flight [used to be 45 minutes after OFF time in the 757/767]. Prior to the most recent industry recession AA was looking at Flight Parameter Recording as well for "flight quality training" program.

Based upon your history message on a different subject, I doubt you knew my dad. Short (fat  Wink/being sarcastic) redhead 707/747 captain based in SFO most of his "Clipper" career. Finished his last two years with UA as part of the Pacific Division sale.  Crying
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
Mr Spaceman
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

RE: "Block Time"

Fri Feb 21, 2003 2:46 am

Hi guys.

Thanks for setting me straight about what Block Time is, and for giving AM the correct info.

>> AAR90, B747skipper, the information that I was explaining to AM isn't just my imagination. I believe that what I was calling "Block Time" is actually called "Slot Time".

Does the phrase "Slot Time" and it's purpose (which I explained) ring a bell?

I'm sorry, but it's been 10 years since I worked on a ramp for an FBO ..... my memory is starting to fade!  Sad

Chris  Smile
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"

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