Spacing into TNCM

Not sure if this should be in a different category like maybe Live but when planning to go into TNCM with other traffic, don’t forget that most of us will have to backtaxi after landing in an airliner. That being said, try to be at least 7nm in-trail (or more) when following other traffic into TNCM so they have time to backtaxi instead of the normal 3nm.

If there are departures waiting, try to be kind to them as well and be around 10nm in trail so they can launch some departures. I realize this may fall on deaf ears but with a little knowledge, we can all start to make it so we’re not always having to go around because there’s still traffic getting off the runway at a “one-way on/off the runway” airport, especially one as popular as St. Maarten.

Disclaimer: I’m not saying this as a hard rule but more as a courtesy and more efficient method as you won’t have to waste an attempt with a go-around


I definately agree. I needed to wait for 25 minutes earlier because the arrivals were very close to each other. Thanks for sharing this.


5nm is too little spacing, you need about 7-8nms.


Absolutely, I’ll go ahead and change that. I’d say 5 is absolute minimum at TNCM but ideally, you’re right it should be higher

I thought I was being generous…🤔When I fly into TNCM I give the aircraft ahead 12nm spacing…unless approach or tower tell me to tighten it up


Thats a great distance, as the aircraft can leave the runway, and tower can clear around two aircaft for takeoff (IFATC correct me if I am being dumb) Normally takeoff waiting times in TNCM are giant because even when aircraft aren’t that close there is the backtaxi, so the takeoff aircraft need to wait for centuries.

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That is very generous and I thank you for that.

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