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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

FAA-Cited Causes of Departure and En Route Delays

(After pushing back from the gate)

Embedded Dataset Excel:

Dataset Excel:

table_01_67_052124.xlsx (28.89 KB)


As of 2008, the FAA reports delays for aircraft that accumulate a delay of 15 minutes or more throughout the duration of the flight. Each holding segment is recorded as one delay. The Operations Network (OPSNET) Database delay data dating back to the year 2000 have been converted to be consistent with the new definitions.

Beginning in 2008 the FAA started to combine Air Route Traffic Control Center volume and Airport Terminal volume and retroactively applied this change through the year 2000.

The data for 2020 are unusual due to the COVID-19 pandemic and not indicative of the overall annual trend.


KEY: FAA = Federal Aviation Administration; U = data are unavailable.


1987-99: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, Aviation Capacity Enhancement Plan (Washington, DC: Annual Issues). 

2000-23: Ibid., Federal Aviation Administration, The Operations Network (OPSNET) Database Delays: Delay by Cause Report, available at as of May 2, 2024.