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.
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!