Today we will have a look at the handcrafted Airports of World Update 2 in MSFS. The airports have been checked against the basic design guidelines required to handle AI Traffic at these airports.
KATL – Atlanta International
There is a major issue at the Airport (since release) that is preventing AI from takeoff. The Runways are lacking Hold-Short-Nodes, AI will taxi onto the runway and sit there.
Runway 10 seems not connected to the taxiway network of the airport, online AI was still somehow able to vacate and taxi to the gate. We are not sure why this was possible, an answer from ASOBO is still pending.
The overall network represents the current layout of the Airport and allows a solid traffic flow at this busy airport. There is an extended vehicle network, allowing ground vehicles to drive around the airport without blocking taxiways. This network is getting less detailed at the cargo area and will result in vehicles on the taxiways.
As many other airports, Atlanta is missing large spots to handle airplanes like the A330 or bigger. As a result, users will not see many big airplanes at the airport.
Not every spot at the airport can be used, since many of them overlap an are therefor blocked by the internal AI system for usage.
On the positive side: There is a dedicated cargo area for the cargo airlines.
Overall, this version of the Airport is not AI ready at all. To get it at least somehow basic AI ready the hold short nodes need to get fixed.
KFHR – Friday Harbor
As per real world there is no vehicle network. While this is suitable for a GA-Airport it causes some issues in the current MSFS. The sim adds big trucks and busses even at such small airports and they now use the taxiway network to get from A to B. The taxiway network represents the real world and allows solid AI operations at the airport.
Like Atlanta it is missing Hold-Short-Nodes which results in non-departing AI Traffic.
There are a lot of spots for AI airplanes, some do overlap and can not be used. There are even still places where some more spots could be added by the developer.
With the missing Hold-Short-Nodes the airport is not AI ready, after this is fixed it works fine for AI.
KDFW – Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
The taxi-network is well designed and allows Ai to taxi around the airport. The layout represents the current real-world situation.
The vehicle network is supporting dedicated vehicle traffic at the terminal area but is not connected to all spots. Vehicles still need to use the taxiway to get to some spots.
There are not many big spots to support the wide-body airplanes that are based on a US-Hub. Bigger AI airplanes will not spawn at the gate and disappear after landing when not spot is open, as a temporary solution some of the bigger airplanes will use the bigger spots at the cargo area. But this will block the cargo airplanes to use these spots.
Overall, there are many overlapping spots, resulting in even less usable spots around the airport.
The airport looks nice but has its downsides when it comes to AI. You will see AI Traffic at the airport, but it will not be able to represent the level/diversity of traffic at such major US Airport.
KSWF – New York Stewart International Airport
The taxi network is complete and represents the real-world situation. On the other side is an incomplete and buggy vehicle network. It does not cover the complete airport and some objects have been placed on top of the path.
The Spots at the Terminal can handle the airplanes operating to/from the airport, but overlap, resulting in less usable spots.
The military area of the airport is coded as normal ramp area, and not as military spots. This will allow nonmilitary AI park there as well.
The GA area can handle the basic GA airplanes.
The airport can handle civilian AI Traffic but will not be able to handle dedicated military airplanes. Expect to see some ground vehicles on the taxiways.