Emergency Contingency Plan

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)

PHL 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 Chris Dougherty at Chris.Dougherty@phl.org.  PHL 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 49 USC § 42301(a)(1) for diversions.

This plan describes how, following excessive tarmac delays and to the extent practicable, PHL 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).

PHL has facility constraints that limit our ability to accommodate diverted flights and strongly encourages aircraft operators to contact the airport operations department at 215-937-6800 for prior coordination of diverted flights, except in the case of a declared in-flight emergency.  Specific facility constraints include the following: limited number of common use gates and hardstand positions. During the hours of 1300 to 2200 LCL there are a limited number of international wide body gates and hardstand positions due to the peak arrival and departures times of daily international flight service at PHL.  PHL can only handle one A-380 aircraft at a time, which will utilize a remote hardstand parking area.  Bussing and/or Passenger Transport Vehicles (PTV’s) will be used for offloading of passengers.  During winter months deicing services for this aircraft may be limited.  Prior coordination is highly recommended.

Airport Information

Name of Airport:  Philadelphia Int. Airport (PHL)

Name and title of person preparing the plan: Chris Dougherty, C.M.   Terminal Operations Superintendent

Preparer contact number:  215-937-6800

Preparer contact e-mail:  Comments@phl.org

Date of submission of plan: May 14th, 2012

Airport Category:      Large Hub  P       Medium Hub  *       Small Hub  *        Non Hub  *

Contact Information

In the event of diversion or other irregular operations events, aircraft operators should contact the Airport Operations department at 215-937-6800 for assistance.

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

PHL does not 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.  We will provide a list of airlines, ground handlers, fixed base operators and others who may have the necessary equipment and personnel to safely deplane passengers to airlines as soon as practicable after receiving requests from such airlines experiencing excessive tarmac delays at the contact number listed above.

If a flight needs to de-plane for any reason, and no gates are available, PHL will offer them PTV (passenger transport vehicle), and/or bus services for their deplaning needs.  Prior coordination with the airport operations department is highly recommended for these services. 

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

Twenty-four gates (number is subject to change at times) at PHL are under common use leases to air carriers and are controlled by the airport.  Additionally, eighty gates (number is subject to change at times) at PHL are under preferential leases to air carriers and are not fully controlled by the airport.  We will direct our common use gate lessees, permittees or users to make gates available to an air carrier seeking to deplane at a gate to the maximum extent practicable.  If additional gates are needed, we will direct tenant air carriers to make preferential and/or exclusive use gates and other facilities available to an air carrier seeking to deplane at a gate, during those time periods when the tenant airline is not using, or not scheduled to use, the gates, to the maximum extent practicable.

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

PHL has defined sterile areas capable of accommodating limited numbers of international passengers.  We have coordinated with local 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.

If a flight needs CBP processing during their off hours (23:00-05:00 hours), DOA Operations and/or the airline will call CBP’s 24 hour hotline number (1-800-973-2867) and have the passengers held in the Terminal A East and/or A West sterile corridor until CBP’s arrival.  Airport Police assistance will be necessary to contain the passengers in the sterile corridor until CBP arrives to process the passengers. 

Public Access to the Emergency Contingency Plan

PHL will provide public access to its emergency contingency plan through one or more of the following means:

  • Providing notice of the availability of the plan on the airport’s social media accounts. 

Important Phone Numbers

Airport Operations Tower Coordinator:  215-937-6800

Customs and Border Protection: 1-800-973-2867

Transportation Security Agency Coordination Center: 215-863-4927.

Emergency Contingency Plan pdf