Planes sit parked on the tarmac at the Des Moines International Airport in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2007. Officials decided to close Des Moines International Airport after a United Airlines plane slid off a taxiway as it was heading to a runway to take off on a flight to Chicago's O'Hare, said airport spokesman Roy Criss. (AP Photo/Kevin Sanders)
The government says October was the first month when no airplanes were stuck on the ground for more than three hours.
It's the first month without tarmac delays since the government started collected data in 2008.
Long delays are rare in October, because it's one of the slowest months for air travel and weather is relatively mild in most of the country. The Transportation Department says the rule that threatens huge fines for airlines with long delays is working. There were 11 delays of more than three hours in October 2009.
Overall more flights were on time compared with a year ago. The on-time rate for the nation's largest airlines was 83.8 percent in October, compared with 77.3 percent in the same month last year.