Tarmac Delay Plan

University of Illinois Willard Airport


University of Illinois Willard 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 Gene Cossey, Executive Director, at gcossey@illinois.edu. University of Illinois Willard 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, University of Illinois Willard Airport will:

  • Provide for the deplanement of passengers;
  • Provide for the sharing of facilities and make gates available at the Airport; and
  • Provide a sterile area following excessive tarmac delays for passengers who have not yet cleared
    United States Customs & Border Protection (CBP).

University of Illinois Willard Airport has facility constraints that limit our ability to accommodate diverted flights or maintain the airport’s safe operation and strongly encourages aircraft operators to contact the Airport (see section labeled “Contact Information”) for prior coordination of diverted flights, except in the case of a declared in-flight emergency. Specific facility constraints include the following:

  • No Customs and Border Protection on field. Closest is over two hours away—if they are available.
  • Runways are designed for regional jet and narrow-body aircraft. Certain wide-body aircraft might be
    able to land, but taxiway width and configuration limit on-ground operation.
  • American Airlines and United Airlines are the commercial carriers present on the airport. Their personnel are present from 5:00 am to 10:00 pm local time daily.
  • Flightstar is the only FBO and has normal operating hours from 5:00 am to 11 :00 pm local time daily
  • Airport normal staffing hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm local time Mon-Fri.
  • Airport Crash Fire Rescue (CFR) is available 24/7

Additional constraints are listed in Airport/Facility Directory record under University of Illinois Willard Airport (CMI). The University of Illinois Willard Airport issues NOTAMs regarding its ability to accommodate diverted flights to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the airport and its ability to serve the civil aviation needs of the public during irregular operations events.

Airport Information:

Name of Airport: University of Illinois Willard Airport
Name and title of person preparing the plan: Steve Wanzek, Associate Director
Preparer contact number: 217-244-8618
Preparer contact e-mail: wanzek@illinois.edu
Date of submission of plan: May 9, 2017
Airport Category: Non Hub

Contact Information:

When a decision is made to divert aircraft to the University of Illinois Willard Airport, or upon initiation of other irregular operations, the aircraft operator must contact the Airport. Contact should be made by calling the University of Illinois Willard Airport CFR at 217-244-8764 or 217-244-8700. CFR is manned 24/7. Upon notification, they will initiate contact with airport management.

Plan to Provide for the Deplanement of Passengers Following Excessive Tarmac Delays:

University of Illinois Willard Airport (CMI) personnel cannot operate any of the equipment needed to safely deplane passengers from air carrier aircraft and is, therefore, unable on its own to provide for the deplanement of passengers. Additionally, airport personnel are not trained to assist in the deplanement of passengers using equipment owned or operated by air carriers or contract service providers.

However, we have requested that each airline and FBO operation on the airport provide us with a list of the equipment and resources they have for deplaning passengers and contact information. We will provide this inventory and contact information to airlines as soon as practicable after receiving requests from such airlines experiencing excessive tarmac delays at the contact number listed above.

When a diversion is made to CMI, the airport management must be notified via CFR. Upon notification and evaluation of the situation the Airport Director, or designee, will monitor/coordinate resources based on need and establish a command center in the Airport Administration Office located in the terminal, if required. The command center will be manned by airport staff and representatives of the airline, FBO, FAA, Police, CBP, etc. as needed/required. The command center will be the clearing house and decision-making location for dealing with issues that arise from the diversions.

Short term diversion: History at Willard Airport has shown that diversion over the last 15 years are usually short term, only deal with 2-3 aircraft and do not require deplaning the passengers to meet the imposed time restriction. In the event the pilot decides to deplane the aircraft, the passengers are accommodated in the departure lounge. American Airlines (AA) and United Airlines (UA) flights are handled by their representatives. All other flights are handled by Flightstar.

Excessive Tarmac Delays Plan: When diverted aircraft arrive, AA and UA aircraft will be directed to the terminal and all other aircraft directed to the Flightstar ramp. Upon shut down, the flight handler will ask the pilot for information as to the status of the flight and relay this information to airport management. If the flight is “international,” CBP will be notified. Periodic checks will be made with the pilot to obtain the flight status and that information will be passed along to airport management.

If it appears the tarmac delay will exceed the time limit:

  • The aircraft at the terminal will be deplaned.
  • Aircraft at the Flightstar ramp will be towed by Flightstar to the terminal for deplaning. (Flightstar has
    equipment to tow all aircraft.) If required, passengers can be deplaned at Flightstar and bussed to the terminal.
  • TSA will be notified. If after hours, staff will be recalled if needed. University Police (UIPD) will be contacted.
  • In the event international passengers are present, UIPD will guard the sterile area. The primary sterile area is the departure lounge. Alternates include the Institute of Aviation building or Flightstar hangar.
  • The terminal has limited vending machines for snacks and beverages. There is one concession in the departure lounge that is open for breakfast and lunch.
    • If required, AA and UA will provide food and refreshments to their passengers.
    • The Airport will help facilitate obtaining food and refreshments for other passengers.
    • Local vendors have been identified. If food service is required, they will be notified as far in advance as possible.
  • If the delay evolves into an overnight stay, the Airport will help facilitate transportation to local hotels.
  • If required, the Airport can assist with arrangements with local hotels. Hotel shuttles will provide a means of transportation to their location.

Plan to Provide for the Sharing of Facilities and Make Gates Available in an Emergency:

The Airport has three jet bridges that can accommodate regional and narrow-body aircraft. Due to the limited number of jet bridges, their use will be coordinated with AA, UA, and Flightstar in order to deplane passengers based on which aircraft is closest to their time limit. In the event jet bridge access is not available, Flightstar has two portable steps for use and passengers will be transported to the terminal or designated area.

The gates at University of Illinois Willard Airport are under common use gate leases permits, or agreements to air carriers, and are controlled by the airport. We direct our common use air carrier users to make gates and other facilities available to an air carrier seeking to deplane at a gate.

Plan to Provide a Sterile Area for Passengers Who Have Not Cleared United States Customs and
Border Protection:

University of Illinois Willard Airport does not have international passenger processing facilities. We will coordinate with local CBP and law enforcement officials to identify suitable areas and procedures for establishing a temporary sterile area into which international passengers on diverted aircraft who have not yet cleared United States Customs and Border Protection can be deplaned. Once these efforts are complete, we will coordinate with CBP officials to develop procedures that will allow international passengers who have not yet cleared United States Customs and Border Protection to be deplaned into these sterile areas to the extent practicable.

The nearest CBP is over two hours away. As soon as the airport is notified of an arriving international flight, the CBP will be contacted.

Public Access to the Emergency Contingency Plan:

University of Illinois Willard Airport will post its emergency contingency plan to the airport webpage.