OPSNET: Delays

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OPSNET Delays provides information about reportable delays provided daily through FAA's Air Traffic Operations Network (OPSNET). A reportable delay recorded in OPSNET is defined in FAA Order 7210.55F as, "Delays to instrument flight rules (IFR) traffic of 15 minutes or more, which result from the ATC system detaining an aircraft at the gate, short of the runway, on the runway, on a taxiway, or in a holding configuration anywhere en route, must be reported. The IFR controlling facility must ensure delay reports are received and entered into OPSNET." These OPSNET delays are caused by the application of initiatives by the Traffic Flow Management (TFM) in response to weather conditions, increased traffic volume, runway conditions, equipment outages, and other causes.

Below are descriptions of the categories of delay causes resulting in a reportable delay:

  • Weather: The presence of adverse weather conditions affecting operations. This includes wind, rain, snow/ice, low cloud ceilings, low visibility, and tornado/ hurricane/thunderstorm.
  • Volume: Delays must only be reported as volume when the airport is in its optimum configuration and no impacting conditions have been reported when the delays were incurred.
  • Runway/Taxiway: Reductions in facility capacity due to runway/taxiway closure or configuration changes.
  • Equipment: An equipment failure or outage causing reduced capacity.
  • Other: All impacting conditions that are not otherwise attributed to weather, equipment, runway/taxiway, or volume, such as airshow, aircraft emergency, bomb threat, external radio frequency interference, military operations, nonradar procedures, etc.

Non-reportable delays are delays incurred by IFR traffic, but which should not be reported in OPSNET. These include delays caused by the aircraft operator/company (such as mechanical problems, pilot refusal to depart when weather conditions are below category (CAT) I/II minima, pilot requests for a nonstandard departure operation, and pilot refusal to accept an available route); delay for taxi time controlled by non-FAA entities; delays attributed to special traffic management programs; delays incurred because of initiatives imposed by non-FAA facilities.

The Standard, Comparison, Ranking, and Peak Days reports in OPSNET show both System Impact Delay, in which delay is attributed to the causal facility, and Occurred at Delay, which shows the amount of delay experienced by operations at each facility. The other OPSNET reports attribute delays to the causal facility only (System Impact).

For more information, see Definitions of Variables.

For information on Delay reports, see Delay Reports.