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Diff. Between "ground Delay" And "ground Stop"

Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:38 am

This may be a merely semantic difference, but I would like to know what difference, if any, there is between the following (which I pulled off the FAA website at 7:30 PM, Eastern, today 12/8):

Due to WEATHER/SNOW, there is a Traffic Management Program in effect for traffic arriving Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Cleveland, OH (CLE). There is a ground stop in effect for traffic arriving at CLE.


Due to WEATHER/SNOW, there is a Traffic Management Program in effect for traffic arriving Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Covington/Cincinnati, OH, KY (CVG). Departure traffic destined to CVG is subject to a ground delay program.

Your thoughts? ... seeming as all of us in the lower Great Lakes are going to be sitting for a while, anyway...  Wink

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RE: Diff. Between "ground Delay" And "ground Stop"

Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:55 am

Ground Stop means no planes are leaving regardless... Essentially planes are put in queue until the ground stop is over... Most times ground stops are only for short periods of time and can end suddenly.

Ground Delay means that departures will be delayed, but generally planes will be given a "wheels-up" time so that they can plan to depart at that time.

If you get a chance to listen to the gate hold frequency at a larger airport during poor weather (ie: NYC during a summer afternoon with thunderstorms) it's pretty interesting, especially since pilots and controllers ususally get into arguments as everyone is frustrated

edit: forgot to add that a lot of times airports can have both occuring at once... Certain departure fixes can be stopped, while others can be slightly delayed, while some might have no delay at all. For example, in the NYC area with thunderstorms moving in from the west, all westbound fixes such as LANNA, ELIOT, PARKE, etc can be completely STOPPED, while aircraft heading east overseas or to Boston etc can leave will realtively no delays.

[Edited 2005-12-09 02:01:30]
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RE: Diff. Between "ground Delay" And "ground Stop"

Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:02 am

If a ground stop is issued, aircraft headed to that airport from the ATC centers within the scope of the stop are all held on the ground. They can't leave until the ground stop is lifted.

The delay program is used to slow down the traffic flow into an airport. Basically it has a scope like a ground stop, but does not cause all flights to be held. The airlines are given arrival times to the airport based on the number of flights they have scheduled, and the predicted arrival rate the airport can handle. Think of them like slots. The airlines can then choose which flights to put in which arrival time. A computer then determines how long that aircraft's flight will take to the arrival fix and issues an CDT time. This is the "wheels up" time for that flight, which should allow it to arrive at the arrival fix at the appropriate time.

Looking at this website might help you understand a little better than I can explain it:

4 hour delay program at ORD tonight, ouch!!!
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RE: Diff. Between "ground Delay" And "ground Stop"

Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:42 pm

With Chicago, they will usually issue a ground stop during a GDP if the demand for a certain period is too high for the given conditions. This will allow the already airborn traffic to land, or to provide minimal holding for them; whereas, if they did not, then aircraft on shorter flights would be held ahead of the longer flights, which will lead to extended holding and a possible diversion with a longer distance to go for the longer flights.
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