What is the minimum separation between an aircraft landing and departing? (IFATC Protocol)

Due to the insane amount of traffic lately, there has been a sudden increase in go-arounds and most of them is a result of tower controllers clearing aircrafts for takeoff when an aircraft on the ILS that is about to land is well below 1000ft. This made me want to know what exactly is the minimum separation between an aircraft landing (on the ILS) and an aircraft taking off or what are the set Protocols IFATC use?


Hi there, in the sim i think it is at controllers discretion but in real life is about 2 minutes minimum! Hoped this helps!
Happy Flying :D


In radar facilities, separation of no less than 3 nautical miles laterally and/or 1,000 feet vertically must be maintained.

Infinite Flight tower controllers use departure/arrival separation which states that the departing aircraft must be airborne before the arriving aircraft crosses the runway threshold. You can watch a few tutorials on YouTube for more information!


Firstly, we need to remember that there can’t be a aircraft taking off if the previous plane hasn’t begin the rotation and established in a positive rate.

Same occurs with landing, no aircraft can land if there is a plane still on the runway.

Getting on the ILS, the normal separation between aircraft is about 3 miles and 1000ft vertically, as we respect the IFR minimum separation. However, this minimum separation of 3nm does not let enough space for departures, that is why we are having some problems fitting the departures in the middle of a huge number of arrivals, and it gets worse when on 1 runway airport. Indeed, the separation of the aircraft is mostly an approach work as it have more precisely commands such exact speeds, etc.

So in large hubs, as for example this Thursday OMDB, approach controllers used one runway specifically for arrival ( actually ATIS states both runways for departures and arrivals) so they can keep the 3nm ILS separation. while fitting the deps.

Hope this clarifies a bit,


Understood! Thanks a lot!

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That’s what I was looking for! Cheers man!


A few months ago I saw a very interesting video showing how close departing and landing aircraft can get when airports are very busy. The video in the link below shows an A330 of Iberia touching down on runway 9 at KMIA less than 5 seconds after a B747 of Lufthansa has left the ground.




Damn! Talk about maximizing efficiency haha, cheers for that

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Amazing explanation.

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Explicação excelente !!!

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According to the FAA ATC Handbook 7110.65Y, which is the same protocol as IFATC manual. Aircraft must be 6,000 ft down the runway and airborne before landing traffic crosses threshold. This is if reference to suitable landmarks are available meaning the airport must usually be VFR.

When the airport is IFR and utilizing Radar Departures there is a lot of variables to apply but let’s assume similar courses upon departure and missed approach. When this is the case 3 miles is the minimum. Aircraft may be separated by 2 miles when between a departing aircraft and an aircraft on final if separation will increase to 3 miles within 1 minute of takeoff.

The IFATC Manual states minimum separation between departures and arrivals is the departure must be airborne. Beware you need to protect for go around and aircraft type. Don’t allow a jet to land 1,000 ft behind a cub in case the jet executes a go around.


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