Ecuador: ¿Vuelo demorado o cancelado? Lo que el pasajero no conoce

Last Updated: 4 October 2019
Article by Verónica Olivo

Su equipaje fue chequeado, tiene el pase para abordar en mano, atravesó los filtros de seguridad, se encuentra a la espera del llamado para embarcar y, de repente, mira el panel informativo de la sala y encuentra el mensaje que a nadie le gusta recibir: "vuelo demorado o cancelado".

A pesar de que el pasajero no conozca las causas de demoras y cancelaciones de vuelos y todo se encuentre en aparente normalidad en el aeropuerto, la operación de un vuelo implica la existencia de varios factores que deben estar perfectamente alineados.

A continuación se señalan las causas más comunes de la demora o cancelación de vuelos.

1.- Condiciones climatológicas

Son muy conocidas lluvias y nevadas intensas durante los meses de invierno, lo cual puede retrasar las operaciones en tierra y dificultar las maniobras de aterrizaje o despegue. Llega el soleado verano e inicia la temporada de mayor tránsito de pasajeros, se alistan las vacaciones familiares, encuentros con amigos, disfrutar de días de sol, un clima que parecería afable para volar; sin embargo, esta combinación de elevadas temperaturas y vientos veraniegos sorpresivamente pueden traer como resultado una tormenta imperceptible a nivel de tierra.

Durante los meses de verano, el aire caliente se eleva e interactúa con el aire frío que se encuentra en la atmósfera superior. Esta mezcla hace que el vapor de agua se condense y se formen nubes de tormenta, con relámpagos a grandes alturas, que no se pueden ver desde la superficie.

Por lo general, las aerolíneas coordinan con el Control de Tráfico Aéreo para cambiar las rutas de aproximación o despegue, a fin de que la ruta para estas operaciones evite estas nubes de tormentas eléctricas. Pero, la operación podría seguir representando un riesgo para los trabajadores en tierra que están en plataforma ejecutando actividades previas a la salida o llegada de los vuelos, como por ejemplo, carga de combustible, traslado de equipaje, revisión y limpieza de aeronaves, etc.

Entonces, por cambios meteorológicos se producen demoras o cancelaciones de los itinerarios programados. En estos casos la aerolínea se encuentra exenta de la obligación de compensar a los pasajeros por los perjuicios que podrían haber sufrido conforme se establece en la normativa de "Disposiciones Para Compensación A Usuarios Por Retrasos de Vuelos", porque los hechos no son imputables a la compañía.

2.-Modificaciones operacionales

En función de la optimización de operaciones y mayor eficacia en el consumo de combustible, una misma aeronave es programada para volar a varios destinos. En este caso, una demora en otra estación podría ocasionar lo que se denomina "demora por arrastre"; es decir, un problema acaecido en otro aeropuerto podría resultar en un retraso en la operación del vuelo siguiente.

Así mismo, hay condiciones de operación que se deben cumplir para garantizar la seguridad del vuelo como por ejemplo, revisar que la tripulación haya cumplido con el tiempo de descanso obligatorio en las regulaciones técnicas de aviación o asegurar que los miembros responsables de la operación del vuelo se encuentren aptos para embarcar. Es poco común, pero se han dado casos en que surge algún imprevisto de salud en un oficial o sobrecargo, lo cual representa una baja en la tripulación que resulta imposible cubrir de inmediato.

La normativa aeronáutica ecuatoriana regula la operación en casos de adelantos o demoras en la hora de despegue/aterrizaje. La resolución 120/2017 determina la obligación de que la aerolínea notifique, con la debida justificación, cualquier cambio en la hora de salida y llegada, aplicando procesos y estándares internacionales.

Mantenimiento no programado:

Las aerolíneas cumplen con un cronograma de mantenimiento de las aeronaves, previamente aprobado por la Autoridad Aeronáutica, quién, como órgano controlador, verificará su cumplimiento. Estos se denominan mantenimientos programados. Pero las aeronaves son máquinas y por tanto susceptibles de presentar daños imprevistos, que pueden ocasionar demoras inevitables de la operación de un vuelo. Cada problema técnico debe documentarse y registrarse de acuerdo con el protocolo establecido en los manuales de cada compañía, precisamente para velar por la seguridad de los pasajeros, de la tripulación y del personal de tierra.

Las aerolíneas que operan en el Ecuador cuentan con programas, políticas y manuales que rigen cada proceso operativo de sus vuelos. En el caso de aerolíneas internacionales estos procedimientos se someten a un proceso de certificación que lo lleva a cabo la Dirección General de Aviación Civil en base a las Regulaciones Técnicas de Aviación, conocidas como RDAC. Para los operadores internacionales es la RDCAC 129 y para las aerolíneas domésticas la RDAC 121.

Las aerolíneas, en sus redes sociales, publican información constante y de primera mano cuando suceden eventos como estos, y buscan ofrecer al pasajero soluciones inmediatas, en la medida de lo posible, para que lleguen de forma segura a su destino.

Finalmente, para las aerolíneas la seguridad de sus operaciones siempre será lo primero. Por lo tanto, cuando las condiciones no son seguras para un vuelo, los retrasos y cancelaciones, aunque resulten molestos para los usuarios, son inevitables para beneficio de los propios pasajeros, tripulación, así como de los trabajadores en tierra.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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