The details of how an aircraft is guided into an airport, then prepared for its next take-off, are often somewhat of a mystery to most people.

From a passenger’s point of view, the level of work, timing and co-ordination involved in turning around an aircraft is often taken for granted. To shed some light on these procedures, The New York Times recently published a great interactive article, which shows exactly what happened with one Delta Airlines B777 when it landed at Kennedy International Airport and was then prepped for its next flight.

Turning around such a large aircraft at a busy airport like JFK is no mean feat and the New York Times article brilliantly sets out just how this is managed. What is most striking about their description of this one example is the sheer number of people involved in the process. Everyone from the air traffic controllers, to the pilot, marshallers, ground handlers, check-in staff and cabin crew plays a vital role in keeping our modern aviation system running.

To complete the story, the paper also published one pilot’s (rather poetic) account of a trip from London to Tokyo, which makes a great. 

Once you read these articles you’ll certainly gain a greater appreciation of the people who make air travel possible!