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Tarmac Delay Contingency Plan Page Hero Image


The Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority (LNAA) has prepared this Emergency Contingency Plan for Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE) pursuant to §42301 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.  Questions regarding this plan can be directed to Thomas R. Stoudt, Director of Operations & Safety at [email protected].  The LNAA is filing this plan with the Department of Transportation in view of the fact that ABE is a commercial service airport.

This plan describes how, following excessive tarmac delays and to the extent practicable, ABE will:

Lehigh Valley International Airport has facility constraints that limit its ability to accommodate diverted flights or flights experiencing extended tarmac delays without impacting the airport’s safe operation.  Accordingly, ABE strongly encourages aircraft operators to contact the Airport Operations Center at (610) 266-6000 for prior coordination of diverted flights or any flight experiencing irregular operations, except in the case of a declared in-flight emergency, in which case, inbound aircraft should contact the Allentown FAA Air Traffic Control Tower.

Specific facility constraints at ABE include the following:

During diversion events or flights experiencing extended tarmac delays, Lehigh Valley International Airport issues NOTAMs regarding its ability to accommodate diverted flights to ensure the safe and efficient operation of ABE and its ability to serve the civil aviation needs of the public during irregular operations events.

Airport Information

Name of Airport:                        Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE)

Name & title of plan preparer:   Mr. Thomas R. Stoudt, Director of Operations & Safety

Preparer contact number:         (610) 266-6000

Preparer contact e-mail:            [email protected]

Date of submission of plan:       May 8, 2017

Airport Category:                       Non-Hub

Contact Information

In the event of diversions or other irregular operations events, aircraft operators should contact the Airport Operations Center at 610-266-6000 for assistance.

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

Lehigh Valley International Airport has limited equipment and personnel needed to safely deplane passengers from air carrier aircraft.  We will utilize this equipment to deplane passengers as soon as practicable after receiving requests from such airlines at the contact number listed above.  Airlines experiencing excessive tarmac delays should contact the number listed above to request assistance.  If requested, the Airport Operations Center is able to provide a list of airlines, ground handling agencies, fixed base operators and others who may have the necessary equipment and personnel to safely deplane passengers.  ABE will also make a bus available to the extent practicable, to transport deplaning passengers from remote parking locations to the terminal.

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

All air carriers at Lehigh Valley International Airport are under common use agreements with the LNAA for all facilities and gates.  We direct our common use air carrier users to make gates and facilities available to air carriers seeking to deplane at a gate, to the maximum extent practicable.  In certain cases, ABE is able to accommodate aircraft larger than B757 at our gates; however B757 and larger aircraft should plan on deplaning from remote parking positions.

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

Lehigh Valley International Airport does not have international passenger processing facilities.
The LNAA has coordinated with local CBP 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 CBP can be deplaned and the procedures and contingency measures are contained in a memorandum issued by the CBP Port Director for ABE, dated October 17, 2016
or as later amended.  Accordingly, the LNAA will coordinate with local CBP officials to allow international passengers who have not yet cleared CBP to be deplaned into these sterile areas
to the extent practicable.  ABE requires that all diverted international flights remain sterile unless there is an on board aircraft emergency that threatens the life, health, safety or property of persons aboard.

Public Access to the Emergency Contingency Plan

Lehigh Valley International Airport’s Tarmac Delay Emergency Contingency Plan is publicly available on the Airport’s website at:

To download this document, click here: