DOT Tarmac Delay Plan

Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF)

The Newport News/Williamsburg International 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 Melissa Cheaney at  The Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport  is filing this plan with the Department of Transportation because (1) it is a commercial airport or (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, the Newport News/Williamsburg International 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).

The Newport News/ Williamsburg International Airport has facility constraints that limit its ability to accommodate diverted flights.  The airport strongly encourages aircraft operators to contact the airport Department of Public Safety at (757) 897-9714 for prior coordination of diverted flights, except in the case of a declared in-flight emergency.  This phone number is monitored 24 hours a day.

Specific facility constraints include the following: limited sterile area space, limited passenger holding space, no international passenger processing space (until Summer 2013 then limited space at approximately 100 people), limited fueling capacity, limited food and beverage services, and limited direct jet bridge access to the terminal facilities.  The airport has noted these constraints in the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport/Facility Directory record.  During diversion events the Newport News/Williamsburg International 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:  Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport

Name and title of person preparing the plan: Melissa Cheaney, Assistant Airport Director, Operations and Maintenance

Preparer contact number:  (757) 877-0221 x227 (landline); (757) 272-2225 (cell)

Preparer contact e-mail:

Date of submission of plan: June 7, 2012

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

Contact Information

In the event of diversion or other irregular operations events, aircraft operators should contact the Department of Public Safety on duty supervisor at 757-897-9714 for assistance.  This phone is manned 24 hours a day, 365 days a week.

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

The Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport has ample ramp space to accommodate diverted aircraft, and the airport has the ability to transport passengers via shuttle bus to the terminal facility.  However, the airport does not own or 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.  The airport 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.

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

The gates at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport are under preferential lease to air carriers and are not fully controlled by the airport.  During those time periods when the tenant’s usage of that gate meets the usage specified in the preferential use lease, the airport may be able to direct a tenant airline to accommodate another air carrier aircraft at its preferentially leased gate.  The airport will direct its tenant air carriers to make gates and other facilities available to an air carrier seeking to deplane at a gate during those time periods the gates are not in use or not scheduled to be in use, to the maximum extent practicable.

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

The Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport does not have international passenger processing facilities.  Processing facilities are expected to open in the Summer of 2013.  Capacity of this facility will be limited to approximately 100 passengers.  In the interim, the airport 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.  The airport will coordinate 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.

Public Access to the Emergency Contingency Plan

The Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport will provide public access to its emergency contingency plan the following means:

  • Posting in a conspicuous location on the airport website (