FIMP Airport Ops - FNF

Howdy all,

If by now you haven’t seen tomorrow’s FNF then you may live under a rock.

If you have, then you’ve probably seen that FIMP already has the most expert server inbounds. That’s good and all because the area sure is lovely, but FIMP isn’t any LAX or ATL. One runway and one taxiway is basically all we have to work with.

So rather than go into it uninformed, here’s what to expect at FIMP and the best way to not get on controllers nerves.


What to expect

Well, it’s going to be very, very busy. With FMEE just 125nm away, there will be a more than steady flow of traffic joining the approach line, not to mention aircraft from the many other worldwide destinations served by FIMP.

One runway means that arrivals need to be spaced a little bit more to allow for departures. That takes a long line and makes it longer. So, here’s how you can help in every stage of flight.


Ground - Runway 14

Runway 14 offers back-taxi room.

Please, do not back-taxi! There is 11,000 feet of runway, you can go without 1,500.

I tested it. I took off an A350 with 100% load, flaps 2, and 88% N1 with runway to spare. Trust me, you don’t need it. Get out of there as fast as possible.

Check out this image for some taxiing advice. Red is departing aircraft, blue is arriving.

Notice how I’ve tried to keep them separated. This minimizes conflict and allows for smoother flow of operations.

Also, I can’t stress this enough, but don’t back taxi. You don’t need it.


Ground - Runway 32

This runway doesn’t have back-taxi which is a plus, but can still be tricky.

Check out this diagram here. Red is departures, blue is arrivals.

I’ve circled in green the main conflict point. To prevent go arounds, please give way to the aircraft exiting the runway.


Arrivals - Both Runways

I’m telling you guys now, busy. I’ve said it one hundred times and I’ll say it one hundred more. Bring extra fuel, watch your speed, and please be at a reasonable altitude when contacting approach.

Be below FL180 when contacting app, that way you get the most expedited path possible. Follow all instructions, and don’t follow your FPL. Find the line and understand it.


Departures - Both Runways

Not much has to be said here with the exception of “go fast”. Even if you don’t receive an immediate takeoff clearance, don’t dawdle. Line up and go without stopping. Don’t enter the runway at 3 knots. Don’t hold others up for no reason!


FMEE - FIMP

This will be a popular route for sure. A quick 125nm hop isn’t really that challenging, but it will be. Don’t cruise higher than FL230, that’s just ridiculous. In fact, cruise at FL170. You hardly have to descend to contact approach.

Chances are FMEE will have an open radar station acting as a “center” for the two airports. Listen to them. They’re putting you in line.

If there isn’t a center open, find the approach line. Go out of your way to make the controllers job easier when you contact them.


Gate Hold

If it comes to it, there may be a gate hold. Please don’t keep requesting. We haven’t forgotten you. You’re not the only one waiting. You may be waiting for quite some time, and that’s just how the cookie crumbles.


All in all, be prepared. Small airport, one runway, popular short route and an FNF are all synonyms for busy. Bring extra fuel, follow instructions, and fly safe!

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Credit to @Prashant_Divedi for this approach plan.

Just to give you an idea of what to expect with all the traffic.

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Great topic, Will! It’ll definitely help ease traffic in a few hours.

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#NOTAM FTW
Good luck!

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I can’t agree with this more. I know of instances where people have to divert on FNFs due to them underestimating the wait to get a landing slot. Trust me, that’d be pretty inconvenient for you and ATC because you’ll get priority and disrupt the organization.

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Really informational, and well written too! Thanks for making this, Will – I’m sure many of us will put it to good use for tomorrow.

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Given the very very Very limited amount of space at this airport, this is almost a guarantee 😬

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Thanks Will! The unnecessary back taxi people like to do on 14 is extremely irritating and unnecessary. Which is why I don’t have plans to control Tower ;)

I do have plans to control approach! It looks like it will be very fun.


I hope those who read this topic make use of the tips and help things run smoothly.

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Good thing I’m not coming into FIMP…

That runway is gunna become the Highway To The Danger Zone…

Hell in paradise island?

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no gate hold possible, there’s no ground control frequency

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Really interesting and well made! Hope we will see the required behaviour you wrote on above to make the FNF a smooth and good experience for everyone.

Thanks for your efforts!

Tower can tell you to hold your position at the gate. This is the equivalent of a gate hold.

I suppose I’ll try the FNF out. Haven’t done one in forever, and I like me a challenge. What’s the biggest aircraft the airport can reasonably hold?

It can hold an A380 that Emirates flies here.

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What about a 777? I’ll probably use that, although I don’t know what route

There’s regular B777 service for example from Paris or London.

^ From both Air Austral and Air France (highly recommend flying the Air Austral 787 sometime, though I’m not sure if it flies from FIMP)

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And BA as well. Thanks!

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What if I have to backtaxi when exiting runway 32? Then what?