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Nearly half of local flights delayed in January

Planes leaving Dayton were on time far more often than those arriving.

January’s snow storms caused plenty of inconvenience for travelers at Dayton International Airport and at the two other major airports within driving distance, new figures show.

With airports from Atlanta to Chicago and beyond virtually shut down for stretches of time, delays locally were inevitable.

Only slightly more than half the planes arriving at the airport — 54.9 percent — were on time. Departures were on time 64.8 percent of the time.

That compares to 2013 figures that show January of that year had 77.6 of arriving flights on time and 81.5 percent of departing flights.

“We anticipated delays and enplanements being down because of winter weather and cancellations throughout the country,” said Linda Hughes, spokeswoman for the Dayton airport. “We experienced more than 180 cancelled departing flights in January. This wasn’t just Dayton weather, it was throughout the country with so many storms coming through. It carried into February, too.”

At Port Columbus International Airport on-time arrivals and departures were 59 percent and 64.3 percent of flights respectively. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport weighed in at 62.1 percent and 66.9 percent.

Port Columbus had 336 cancelled flights in January, about 9 percent of all flights, said spokeswoman Angie Tabor.

Chicago ranked last among big airports for late arrivals and departures, with about half the January flights at O’Hare International and Midway airports encountering delays, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. January’s weather was brutal in Chicago, but it was bad in other parts of the country too. Nationally, though, the percentage of late flights delayed by weather was down both from January 2013 and from December.

Airlines nationwide in January reported 18 tarmac delays of more than three hours on domestic flights and three tarmac delays of more than four hours on international flights — the majority of the delays in Chicago.

“Sixteen of the reported tarmac delays involved Southwest Airlines flights that arrived at Chicago Midway Airport on Jan. 2. Due to a snowstorm, those flights were delayed in receiving an open gate. All of the reported delays are under investigation by the Department,” the report said.

The Department’s report said that the nation’s largest airlines posted an on-time arrival rate of 67.7 percent in January, down from both the 81 percent on-time rate posted in January 2013 and the 68.9 percent on-time rate posted in December 2013.

Not all delays are due to weather.

The report said that 6.60 percent of the carriers reporting data said their their flights were delayed by aviation system delays, compared to 7.77 percent in December; 9.87 percent by late-arriving aircraft, compared to 11.25 percent in December; 7.66 percent by factors within the airline’s control, such as maintenance or crew problems, compared to 8.03 percent in December; 1.26 percent by extreme weather, compared to 0.95 percent in December; and 0.03 percent for security reasons, compared to 0.05 percent in December.

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