Passengers stuck on tarmac for 7 hours at Nashville International Airport

De-icing trucks reportedly run out of fuel as passengers remain stuck on tarmac for longer than expected

Maroosha Muzaffar
Tuesday 16 January 2024 07:32 GMT
Representative (AFP via Getty Images)

Passengers flying into the Nashville International Airport were reportedly stuck on the tarmac for more than seven hours after de-icing trucks ran out of fuel.

Local media reported that certain American Airlines flights into the BNA airport were stuck on the tarmac for longer than expected causing distress to the passengers.

NewsChannel5 Nashville quoted a passenger identified as Maddox Gates as saying: “We eventually get in at around 2.30, and we were sitting in that tarmac until probably about 8.30.”

Ms Gates was flying in from New York.

“It really wasn’t on the staff, the flight crew and the staff, they did everything they could.”

The valve to refill the de-icing truck reportedly froze.

De-icing is a crucial process for airlines, including American Airlines, especially during winter or in cold weather conditions. It helps remove ice, snow, or frost from the aircraft’s surfaces, such as wings, tail, and fuselage, to ensure safe takeoff and flight.

This is to prevent ice-related issues, such as reduced lift on the wings, which can impact the aircraft’s performance.

The airline experienced further delays due to a line of flights ahead of them, preventing any movement.

A passenger named Hallie Barnwell said that the airline’s alternative plan involved using air stairs to disembark passengers. But there was uncertainty about when the stairs would arrive.

Things again got messier when the tow bar broke while attempting to tow the first plane after passengers disembarked.

Ms Barnwell said: “He (the pilot) also called it a ‘comedy of airs’...we were all using comedic relief in the end. Everyone was very patient.”

Meanwhile, it was reported that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a ground stop of all flights at BNA due to the weather at 4pm on Monday.

According to WKRN, as of 5.15pm Monday, the FAA lifted the ground stop at Nashville International Airport.

American Airlines shared a statement with The Independent and mentioned “challenging conditions” but did not specifically address the issue about de-icing trucks running out of fuel.

“Today’s severe winter weather at Nashville International Airport (BNA) significantly impacted airport operations throughout the day and resulted in a two-hour ground stop for all airlines operating there. These challenging conditions produced unsafe operating conditions, causing cancellations and delays, along with ramp and gate congestion that made it very difficult to safely gate our aircraft.”

It continued: “We are deeply sorry to our customers who were affected. Our team is reaching out to them to apologize and provide compensation for their experience.”

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