Flight time is total time an aircraft charter is in flight, from the point of takeoff to landing. This also includes the time the aircraft spends taxiing to and from the runway.
Basically, once the ground crew removes the wheel blocks, flight time starts. And it doesn’t stop until the ground crew at the destination airport reapplies the blocks. Hence, flight time is also referred to as block time.
The Importance of Flight Time
Establishing flight time accurately is important. The Federal Aviation Regulations mandate that pilots must receive a predetermined rest period for a given number of hours worked. This is known as duty time. Furthermore, charter operators also use flight time to calculate:
- Departure and arrival times
- Crewmember wages
- Cost of aircraft charter operations
It’s worth noting that flight time is calculated differently in the United States than in other parts of the world. For instance, European regulations define it as the time an aircraft charter is airborne. In other words, taxi time isn’t included.
Knowing the expected flight time ahead of a trip helps both the operator and passenger. The operator benefits from being able to accurately schedule the desired departure time. The passenger benefits from knowing how long they can expect to be in transit.