Update @ 1915 UTC
The weather at JFK has not improved, and currently several aircraft are still holding, although some domestic carriers have diverted. WBB 811 has been holding for about 90 minutes to the east of New York at cruising altitude (to minimise fuel burn). The Cleveland Department of Port Control (DPC; which manages and operates CLE airport) now advises that although the weather at CLE is still conducive to operations, the airport has become logjammed. This is due to severe congestion on the ground caused by several earlier diversions, and there is no longer gate availability. For this reason, the DPC have advised that CLE is now unsuitable as an alternate for JFK. This advice is received by the IOC from the JFK Station Manager, who gathers information from, and is updated by, the Local Port Authority.
The crew of 811 are advised accordingly. As a result, WBB have notified that they are diverting immediately to ORD (643 NM west of JFK), with an ETA of 2120. Refer to Figure 6.3 opposite. The circled
Figure 6.3 JFK weather - status @ 1915
alert (just as a highlight in this example) indicates the diversion and the
fact that due to this, there is now no aircraft at JFK to operate 811 JFK-
LAX, with subsequent impact on the rest of the flying pattern for WBB.
The IOC now has several issues to consider. The first ones involve the
- a) Once the aircraft arrives at ORD, would it be worth fuelling up and trying to get back into JFK? The chances are that a similar АТС holding time (or worse, due to the build-up of traffic) would be applied, if indeed АТС provided a slot at all. Even if this were possible, would the crew have sufficient hours to fly this additional leg?
- b) Of the total customer load on the aircraft, the IOC also needs to determine how many customers are travelling DXB-JFK and how many are travelling DXB-LAX. (If the airline has carriage rights within the USA, another consideration would be for any customers booked JFK-LAX.) In the current scenario 194 customers are bound for JFK with 135 for LAX. There is none booked JFK-LAX.
- c) If the aircraft stays in ORD, is there accommodation for the 329 customers? Even if accommodation were readily available, how and when will these customers subsequently be moved from ORD back to JFK? The Station Manager together with the CJM team, would address such a situation once a decision is made regarding recovery options.
- d) With the crew likely to be out of hours at ORD and unable to take the aircraft back to JFK, the aircraft is also unable to continue as 811 to LAX (as the crew for the JFK-LAX flight are in JFK). Crewing will be aware of the diversion to ORD and the unlikelihood of the aircraft returning to JFK immediately, so that (1) they know their inbound crew will now finish in ORD, out of hours and out of position for their next duty commitments, and (2) they can stop the new 811 JFK-LAX crew from signing on at least until a recovery plan is determined.
- e) The diversion causes three further problems: First is that the DXB-JFK and DXB-LAX customers currently will not get to their destinations as planned. Second, is that 329 customers are stuck in ORD who should not be there, and third, with the aircraft terminating at ORD, there is no aircraft in LAX to operate 830 LAX-JFK at 0700.
- f) The IOC needs to ascertain if there is any aircraft, and from both Crewing functions if there are any crews in the vicinity or who could be positioned, to assist recovery. (If the airline had scheduled flights into nearby ports, there may well be operations that could assist. In the current scenario though, the utilisation depicted is complete,
- g) This level of thinking requires a detailed scan of the Gantt chart (Figure 6.3).