(WASHINGTON) -- According to new numbers from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, there was only one flight with a tarmac delay of more than three hours in August 2010, compared to 66 delayed flights in August 2009.
The number of lengthy delays has plummeted since the Department of Transportation began to enforce the new aviation consumer rule on April 29. The rule prohibits U.S. airlines from permitting an aircraft to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours without deplaning passengers. The Department of Transportation will investigate delays that exceed the three-hour limit.
There have only been eight tarmac delays in excess of three hours from May through August of this year. During the same four-month period last year, there were 529 flights delayed for more than three hours.
"These numbers show that the tarmac delay rule is protecting passengers from being trapped indefinitely aboard and airplane -- with little or no increase in canceled flights," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. "Also, it shows that the hard work the airlines are putting into implementing the rule is paying off. With the summer travel season behind us, it appears that the rule is working as planned."
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