Aircraft Spacing while taxiing

Hello Aviators & Aviatrixes,

I recently discovered that there wasn’t a rule for spacing between aircraft while taxiing, as more and more airports start implementing more sophisticated surface surveillance systems (Adavanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control Systems or A-SMGCS.

But I wanted to know what are your safe follow distances while taxiing?

Not sure if there is anything specific for taxiing aircraft following another, but at runway holding points where similar types are queuing pilots tend to use a gap similar in length size to the types they are flying. In the case of B737 size behind a heavy then gap seems to be increased to the size of the heavy. Presumably this to minimise risk of jet blast by preceding aircraft when breakway power is used causing FOD issues to the following aircraft.(I know this doesn’t apply to IF, but its a good bit of information)

Continuing the discussion from Aircraft Spacing:


I usually just eyeball it. If I seem too far behind the plane in front of me I scoot up.


Ground ATC has a command to maintain spacing. That comes in handy from time to time.

Ditto to @Mix56awesome’s response.

I did a bit of digging around and found a cool guide that a fellow community member created. This should help clear up some confusion:


Thanks a lot! That is helpful!

You’re welcome! I’m glad it helped you. Hopefully others will also find it useful. :)

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The problem I have is this: pilots that can’t use common sense and maintain a reasonable distance are also not good pilots all around. So what they do? They change to tower frequency way in advance. So there I sit, looking from the tower at the situation and unable to give the gentleman / lady the “maintain safe distance from aircraft ahead”. That requires a “contact ground at…” then sending the distance warning. I don’t have time for that when airport is busy. Would love to see violations added for that.


The problem is…when I leave some gap in front the plane…the plane behind me thinks I’m inactive…and he goes right through me

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I created a topic on this a while back…


Yeh but most of the time aircraft on TS1 taxi right up your rear and they never listen to " maintain safe distance with aircraft ahead "

Thank you for adding more valuable information.

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