after landing procedure at TNCM?

Hey guys. Today I have a question regarding the after landing procedure at TNCM (st. Juliana). Sometimes TNCM can be packed with many planes lined up for approach.

Usually, the wind is blowing from the east, so you land from the west. After you land, though, you usually have to taxi down the runway to get to the gate. I’ve drawn some horrible pictures to represents this.

Suppose you have just landed, and there is a plane behind you on approach. You eyeball it and figure you don’t have enough time to taxi down the length of the runway to reach your gate. You pull off to the apron next to the end of the runway, and the plane lands. It pulls next to you, and you begin your taxi down the runway towards the gate.

But suppose there’s 15 planes up for landing. You obviously don’t want to be in their way to force a go around which quickly fills up the pattern, making it hard for ATC. What do you? You race down the runway, slam on the thrust reversers, and hang a right into the gate. The landing plane misses you by seconds, and waits in line with the other plane.

To avoid a traffic jam at the end of the runway, what would be the proper procedure for this kind of situation?



Because this airport requires a back taxi, ATC should be aware and should create enough space to allow you to taxi to your gate. Just follow ATC instructions, they know what they’re doing.


It depends on the plane, but I would make a U-turn at the designated areas, and taxi somewhat fast until I exit.

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Simply go fast, yes, you can slam on the brakes and reversers but when taxing on the runway you should be going at least 60 ish knots.

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It is a bit of a dilemma because Juliana Airport IRL is never as crowded as it can get in IF. Just fly your plane like you normally would, and let ATC do the rest. (although they might appreciate it if you haul off the runway quickly)


First off… TNCM is like my second home. Im there every year for 2 weeks.

In real life, they will land and anything about Embraer or less could easily make the first turn around circle about 3/4ths down the runway. Everything else will continue to the end of the runway. In real life, the planes taxi back at about 10-17knts (Maybe slower or a bit faster) and then will exit to the right on the biggest taxiway (Charlie or Delta).

In IF… I believe a controller would scream in their heads at you if you taxied back at that speed and thats why you sometimes see people taxi-back at 60knts+.

I know that tomorrow I will be controlling with IFATC at TNCM and I am going to be operating under Real Life Procedures (RIP My APPR Controller) :P.


@Brandon_Sandstrom - Any corrections that you would like to make? :)


Maybe you will maybe you won’t

Not possible with unrealistic traffic.


Brandon why so savage 😂

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As the @GolferRyan said, ATC should create enough space to make it work smoothly.

Found this chart on google, all aircraft B767 and heavier should roll to the end of the runway and backtrack from there. All lighter aircraft can use the mid-field turning bay.


A lot of old stuff has been said about this, which I won’t repeat.
What has not been mentioned, I think was the ‘back taxi’.

After landing the ATC will instruct you to ‘back-taxi runway 10, contact ground when off the runway’. So, indeed, you turn and you ‘taxi back’, and you hurry up 😉

This takes times, and as already mentioned, TNCM when busy in IF is hard work to control, because of the time it takes to turn and back-taxi. We often have to instruct an approaching aircraft to go-around, as the runway is not clear for him to land.

Hope this adds a little thing to the above. 😊


I believe @dush19 created a tutorial on back taxi, that is if you are unfamiliar with the procedure.

If you don’t get off the runway in time with the back taxi, plane behind you just won the scenic package! So no worries!

I had about 7 go arounds today.

It also helps if you guys come in MUCH slower.


Any dreams of making it “real world” clearly go out the window when you have 40 inbounds circling like vultures. IF has unrealistic volume, and you have to account for that. Everyone has their home airport and knows exactly which livery parks at which gates and this and that, but sometimes you have to take a gander at the RADAR.

Any non-heavy should be able to turn off without back taxi. I’ve never missed it in a non-heavy. Maybe because I don’t land at 200 KIAS (hint, hint)

If you do have to back taxi, if you’re back taxiing slower than you do on the ramp, something is wrong. I see pilots taxi at 50 knots on the ramp, but back taxi at 20. Explain that one to me.

That said, of course still maintain control of your aircraft. Don’t back taxi at V1 or anything.


Today was a nightmare. Tower and approach signed off and chaos followed.

Seems like many pilots can’t get off the runway in time and the ATC is forced to adjust. Had a couple of aircraft jump in line when descending and it was a mess. A good ATC handles this airport…wouldn’t want inexperienced ATCs here.

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I wouldn’t want inexperienced pilots there. It’s they who create chaos, not ATC.
I heard «please follow instructions» more than once on the freq today.

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