After many weeks in the dark, with some sneak peeks posted on different platform we are now ready to lift the cover of what is coming in the next major update for AIGTC: Live Routing and Services. Both are features that will bring more life to the AI world at the airports and in the air, while maintaining the high level or realistic Ai operations we already have. For the later (Services) you might have seen the technical preview in your TC already with the “Follow Me Services” at the airport.
The main reason we developed AIGTC was to be able to inject traffic into the Sim that follows real world routes, since BGL based AI Traffic is always flying the great circle route.
We achieved this by using a new file format that included the flightplan as well as the designated route for this flight. This came with the downside that the route is hardcoded during the creating of the flightplan and does not change later. The war in the Ukraine is showing us firsthand that quite a number or airspaces can be closed, and airlines prohibited to use specific airspaces. With hard coded routes we can not represent this inside the Sim, as a result the dynamic routing features was born.
Thanks to “Little Nav Map” we can now read the LNM NavData database directly into TC, combined with the Eurocontrol FRA database and an AIG Airspace Database each use can not enjoy dynamic route generations on runtime for AI traffic.
For example, Russian Airlines no longer fly into European Airspace, airplanes that want to depart Moscow and fly to European Airports will remain at Moscow airport. European Airlines flying to east Asia will follow the polar route or the middle east route avoiding Russia. All this even with flightplans older than Feb. 2022.
And before you are all getting to hyped about this: There are some downsides I want to share with you already: To make sure the process on runtime is not taking to long and the startup of TC does not take 30 or more minutes you need to do some preparations: First TC will build and internal Navigation cache that takes 30minutes each time the LNM Database file is changed, and then you should update all installed AIGFP files with the latest routing information after that could take around 2hrs as well, depending on the amount of AI you have installed.
In the last release already previewed and now getting more into shape are the Ground Services for AI airplanes.
So far, we had the service “Follow Me” added as a prove of concept and technical preview. Now we bring this to the next level adding other services for AI airplanes as well. This will include Stairs, Busses, Cleaning, Water and much more.
Both Simulators already provide a basic set of Services for AI Airplanes, but in our point of view it was never enough and needed an upgrade. Based on the current situation it seems that this might also become the first feature that is not fully identical in P3D and MSFS, since both provide different basic rules via the API, we need to make some stuff work. Stairs are default in MSFS and can easily modified, in P3D we do not have them, so it is hard to add them externally for AI airplanes.
For now, we focus on the following services to be added:
Airplanes will get picked up by the Follow Me car close to the gate and marshaled to the parking position.
Stairs (might be MSFS only)
AIGTC will spawn a set of stairs at the airport that will get assigned to the different parked airplanes at the airport. The number of used stairs is determined by the number of exits in the FDE.
Stands without a jetway will be served by Busses for Deboarding and Boarding the passengers.
Catering (might be MSFS only)
If the turnaround is long enough (time not yet specified) Catering Trucks will serve the AI airplane. Cargo and GA airplanes will not be served of cause.
On longer turnarounds the cleaning crew will come to the airplane and park close to the “back” stair at the airplane.