Glossary

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Block Flying Time

Block flying time is a pilot lingo term used to describe the duration of a flight. The clock begins ticking as soon as the aircraft leaves its parking space and ends as soon as the aircraft reaches its parking spot at its destination. Besides being a term referred to as pilot lingo, many air charter brokers and commercial airlines use this term frequently in their day-to-day operations.

Look to the Flight Plan

When a flight plan is drafted up, the block flying time accounts for the entire flight from start to finish. If the flight takes 6 hours and 23 minutes, additional time will be added on to cover the estimated time it will take to leave the gate, taxi on the runway, and then park at the destination airport. This allows for both the air charter broker and the pilot to maximize their schedules.

To keep things running according to the schedule outlined in the flight plan, the block flying time is usually generously quoted. The main reason this has become the accepted practice is to avoid safety concerns. If there is enough time in the flight plan to account for other aircraft and ground operation delays, aircraft crews won’t feel rushed to follow the schedule. In following this practice, aircraft operators resist the urge to cut corners and make up for lost time.