Back Taxi and Line Up and Wait

Hey everyone,

I just wanted to clarify something. Most Caribbean airports require some sort of a back taxi. However, the “back taxi” command is different from “line up and wait”. For example, at TFFR, a 737 has enough room to take off from the taxiway entrance to the runway. There is no need to back taxi. A 777 on the other hand needs the full length of the runway. So if an ATC like myself says to line up and wait from the taxiway entrance, that means you line up and wait, and DO NOT back taxi. We as ATC’s have a command specifically for back taxi. If we don’t say it, we don’t mean it. Also, we might have the space to clear you for a takeoff from the entrance, but not enough time to have you back taxi before an inbound lands.So, if you are cleared to takeoff or line up and wait, do it from the entrance to the runway, and do not execute a back taxi if not instructed. Thanks!

EDIT: After some debate below, I have decided that, at least for myself, I will instruct all jets to back taxi, while instructing props to take off from the taxiway entrance to the runway. I hope this clears up some confusion and complaints related to realism. I will say this may caused increased delays. Either way, apologies to anyone at TFFR today who felt like the ATC was not up to par. And, no matter what, please continue listening to ATC instructions!


First things first you need to relise that not all controllers allow intersection departures. A back taxi is a more safer option. If your dealing with a small prop aircraft for instance; it is safe for them to takeoff. But it does rely on the runway length.

Secondly: the back taxi command (to me) is limited. Having only two options to instruct a pilot. Sometimes you only want to back taxi one fella and than make him hold short the runway. (Not lineup and wait or contact ground off the runway)

No matter what’s back taxi is always required. A Pilot in the real world alleys uses the full runway because they have to just like in IF. What your saying is not realistic. I am sorry to say.

I realize not all controllers do the same thing. But pilots then need to adapt to the controllers preference.

Is 5000-6000 feet not enough for an aircraft at or below the designation of a 737 to takeoff at? At least for IF, it is plenty…

What it looks like from my side is that you are not wanting realism yet just wanting aircraft to unsafely depart an airport. Please use back taxis for all aircraft

I want to make it clear that I in no way want to detract from the realism in IF. I’ve talked to @tyler about clearing this up. The bottom line is that it is up to interpretation. I am only trying to help alleviate delays at some airports. However, I feel that I will instead instruct all jets to back taxi, while allowing props to take off from the taxiway entrance. I think this is an acceptable compromise.

I agree with props taking off from the runway enterance. But i am certain that no matter what, pilots in the real world have to take off from the start of the runway, to the end. :)

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And that does make the most sense. Obviously, we can only conjecture as I am not an actual air traffic controller or pilot. But I am glad we could come to a compromise!

I believe the pilot should make the back taxi decision when given a line up and wait command based on weight, wind, altitude, and runway length, not the controller.

I’m just trying to highlight the difference between the commands. The problem is the possibility and unpredictability of the pilot and controller interpreting the same command differently, as this could have consequences such as go arounds or other accidents.

– It’s also hard due to the fact pilots don’t have the ability to request a back taxi, which would help alleviate confusion…


I understand completely.

A feature to request back taxi would help.

I believe there is already one requested on the forum…

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wouldnt the hold short after back taxi be considered a runway incursen

Like I have always mentioned every expedite on the runway should be above 35 knots,especially when back taxiing and between 30-35 knots when asked to exit the runway expedite. Also keep an eye on inbound traffic or number of departures awaiting for a pilot to exit the runway. We need everyone’s cooperation to maintain a smooth workflow.


Yes a back taxi request command should be available to pilots as well and a command for atc like "ABCD,runway x shortened,cleared for take off especially for smaller birds. Let’s hope we get these someday in the future.


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Let’s call @Aernout for this. Aernout can you clear this up for us please.