The “pushback” isn’t just the moment when the airplane leaves the gate. It’s the culmination of at least 60 teams working together, akin to a live performance – and between Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge, it happens more than 700 times a day.
Pilots complete their ramp check, receive air traffic control clearance, review emergency drills, confirm that they have enough fuel for their journey and converse with the ground handlers. Flight attendants secure the cabin and attend to passengers’ needs. The captain orchestrates all these responsibilities like a conductor from the flight deck. Only with the cabin and cargo doors closed, the passenger boarding bridge retracted, the “before start” checklist complete, and the weight of the plane calculated, can a pushback request be made. When the ramp attendant gives the “okay,” the captain releases the brakes and then, it’s “showtime.”