Playa del Carmen, Mexico

We visited Playa del Carmen, nearby Cancun in December 2022. Playa del Carmen has become a pretty popular tourist destination with large number of restaurant choices and shops. There is a little runway in walking distance from the pedestrian zone called Quinta Avenida.

The runway with local Mexican identifier PCE was not to be found in my Garmin devices so I added the runway manually via GPS coordinates (20.622788, -87.082212 | 20°37’22.0″N 87°04’56.0″W).

The 2,175 ft long (50ft wide) concrete runway (11-29) is a well maintained and has additional overflow area to the west of about 350 ft and to the east of about 200ft. The eastern side of ths area is used for parked airplanes and boarding passenger and sky divers. The western end of the runway is limited by a fence and a highway, the eastern side has some buildings at the end.  The biggest watch-out are the Sky Divers who are frequently jumping slightly to the south near the beach. 

View towards the east. Note towers both left and right.

View looking towards the west.

Ramp Area

Prevalent winds are from the east and runway 11 is in use. I was advised to fly a wide standard left-hand pattern to runway 11. There are antennas in proximity. I came from the east from Cozumel (MMCZ) and due to the wide pattern had trouble finding the runway at first, but you can use the larger (further to the south) of the two docks in Playa del Carmen as an extension of the runway for guidance. 

The airport has a local administrator. He was very responsive via WhatsApp and can provide his contact upon request. He provided the following information:

  • Runway 11-29 (668m x 15m)
  • CTAF 122.50
  • No control tower, no fuel
  • 24-hour security
  • only daylight operations
  • Fees
    • $234 Mexican pesos per overnight stay (~$12 USD)
    • $136 Mexican pesos per operation | landing (~$7 USD)
    • $110 Mexican pesos TUA (The Airport Use Fee (TUA) is a payment that Mexican airports require for using their facilities) per passenger (~$6 USD)

There is also a small office for the local authorities. They checked aircraft (US registered N) documents and pilot certificates and submitted the flight plan for the return flight. We brought a template of the international ICAO flight plan which was useful. 

Everybody at this small airport was very friendly. We would definitely go back. There is not much parking available, so it might be a good idea to contact the administrator beforehand. As mentioned above, I can share the contact that was given to me upon request.

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