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The tardy list: CAB keeps tabs on airlines’ chronic flight delays

The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) has ordered all domestic airlines to submit monthly on-time performance reports as it takes a tougher stance on flight delays.

In an advisory dated July 8 this year, the CAB said airlines must submit their on-time performance reports on the eighth of every month. The report should contain all daily flights per airport of origin, it added.

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A flight is considered on time if it departs or arrives within 15 minutes after the original schedule.

CAB Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla said the government would use the data to determine whether an airline was operating routes with “chronic delays.”

But he explained the exact thresholds for chronic delays—and the corresponding penalties—had yet to be determined. The CAB was in talks with the airlines and those figures could be finalized before the end of 2019, he said.

“Delays are now a global problem. It’s always a race between demand and infrastructure and demand often overtakes infrastructure,” Arcilla said in an interview.

“Government has to think of ways to deal with the problem,” including adopting best practices abroad, he said.

In the United States, airlines that fly routes with an on-time performance of 50 percent over a certain period of time are considered to be operating with chronic delays, according to Arcilla. He said airlines were typically given a remedy period and penalties would follow if the problem was not addressed.

Recently, the Department of Transportation has been issuing regular notices on airline on-time performance. Arcilla said the objective was to allow market forces to transparently set a standard and put pressure on lagging airlines.

Flight delays are a regular occurrence in congested gateways such as Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport, which is operating well beyond its intended capacity.

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TAGS: Carmelo Arcilla, Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), domestic airlines
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