Block speed is recognized as the average speed (including approach speed) of an aircraft moving from one place to another. However, this term shouldn’t be confused with airspeed. Airspeed refers to the speed of a jet relative to the surrounding air mass.
Calculating Block Speed
When calculating block speed, the following factors are taken into consideration:
- The speed of taxiing on the runway
- Speed at which the aircraft takes off
- Approach speed
- Landing speed
There are other things that can be considered when calculating block time too. There are lots of things that happen behind the scene that most passengers don’t witness.
Removing the aircraft from the terminal – this step often includes a push-back vehicle and crew. They’re responsible for pushing the aircraft away from the terminal with a tow bar. From there the pilot can safely engage the aircraft engine and head to the taxi-way.
Waiting on air traffic control – this step is often overlooked by passengers. In order to taxi down the runway to prepare for take-off, the flight crew need to wait for the all-clear from air traffic control. This step doesn’t take too long, but it definitely needs to be accounted for in the block speed calculations.