Is there a standard policy / guideline that dictates how many minutes a jetway or air bridge must be detached from a commercial aircraft before take-off?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not aware of any actual regulatory minimum and can't imagine why any would make sense. It's usually just a matter of how ever long it takes to do all of the stuff that must be done between those two events (e.g. secure doors, wait for permission to pushback, actually pushback, start engines, run various pre-flight checklists, taxi to runway, wait in line for takeoff clearance, etc.) $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    Jan 24, 2016 at 22:49
  • $\begingroup$ @reirab your answer makes sense to me -- and while I don't think such a regulatory minimum would make sense, I'm still curious about whether it exists. $\endgroup$ Jan 24, 2016 at 23:04
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    $\begingroup$ While removing the jetway is a decision (albeit execution is also depending on external factors), take-off is subject to uncertainties (preceding aircraft, landing aircraft). So knowing when it's time to remove the jetway to meet a delay before take-off seems impossible in general. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Jan 25, 2016 at 8:15
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    $\begingroup$ @ReefLoretto, I'm curious as to why you asked this question, is it part of a wider problem you are trying to solve? $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Jan 25, 2016 at 9:37
  • $\begingroup$ @GdD -- I wish it were something more important than this, but I recently had an encounter where someone made a big scene about how they arrived at their gate prior to scheduled take-off, but were not allowed to board because the jetway had been detached. They claimed that this was "entirely out of regulation." $\endgroup$ Feb 8, 2016 at 0:37

1 Answer 1


while I don't think such a regulatory minimum would make sense, I'm still curious about whether it exists.

No, there is no such regulatory minimum.

On average, it's between 10 and 20 minutes from pushback to takeoff, although there are a couple of places I can think of (very short taxi from gate to runway) that I've seen it done in under five minutes. That's moving pretty fast, though -- almost nonstop checklists, other than during the time the engines are starting. But whatever you can do safely, is fine as far as regulations are concerned. If you're ready to go, no regulation makes you wait.

Depending on the aircraft, there may be an engine warmup requirement or recommendation. That's typically much more restrictive for the first flight of the day, and that would be a limiting factor in the very short taxi cases.


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