The issue was contentious at United, an industry source said, as the carrier had long permitted pilots to taxi to the runway before they received their final weight manifest and takeoff data message. But Continental Airlines had required pilots to wait in the gate area for final numbers, and the combined carrier preferred that approach, even though most of the industry permits taxi before final weights, the source said.
One problem with waiting for final numbers is that it led to delays. United told pilots the new policy will help ensure that aircraft leave gates and aprons faster, a move the carrier said should “reduce gate-availability delays for inbound flights.”
United told pilots the new system should permit to run a “safer, more efficient and reliable operation.”
“[This] allows our airport operations co-workers a realistic amount of time to input accurate payload values into the load planning system, getting it right the first time as opposed to sending through revisions,” United told pilots.
Several of United’s fleet has already started using the new policy, and the rest of the aircraft types should come online soon, the airline said. United’s largest fleet, the Boeing 737, will begin using the new policy in the middle of this month.