What Really Goes Into an Airport Edit

Hey everyone,

This topic is to explain how much effort goes into an airport edit (through the Infinite Flight Airport Editing Team). I thought this would be a cool topic to give others an insight into, as many don’t really understand how amazing the works are of some of the IFAET team.

Personally, I have not done much editing whilst in the team(I joined two months ago), although I am currently on my fourth airport. I have edited mostly regional airports in Australia (YROM, YMLS, YCCA), and am about to start my fourth, YBRK (that’ll be a big one).

Anyways, let’s get to it!

First, the editor will create an ‘issue’ to tell other editors that they are doing the airport that they intend to. This is a simple task, that usually takes five minutes.

Secondly, the editor will resource their satellite imagery that they will base their edit off of. For most, SAS is where they get their imagery from, whether that be through the SAS application, or asking someone to get it for them (if on a mac, which i am).

Now the editor starts to setup their editing software, WED Built by X-Plane!
The editor will now import their satellite imagery that they resourced, as well as the current airport ‘apt.dat’ file, which has all of the airport information and features (taxiways, taxi-lines, and runways etc.).

The editor is now ready to start! This is where the editing really happens…

The editing process includes everything from making/editing taxiways, taxi-lines, runways, to setting ramp-start (spawn) points depending on how much the editor needs to change

Here is what this process looks like

Depending on the airport’s size, this process could take a few hours (regional airports), or sometimes even a few weeks (large airports, like KLAX).

After the editor feels that they have finished the editing the airport to the best of their ability, they will export the airport, and share it to other members of the IFAET. A member from the team then takes the time to review the airport and provide constructive criticism, which the editor can then go and fix.

The reviewer may ask for the airport to be re-uploaded once re-edited if they feel that there may be more errors.

If the reviewer was satisfied with the re-edit or believed that you could fix the errors easily, they will advise to send to ‘OR’, or ‘Official Review’. The airport will then be sent to OR, where it will be reviewed professionally by a staff member of the IFAET, and if successful, will be added to the game in the next Navigation Database ‘push’.

So there it is - that’s a (very) simplified version of how much effort is put into each and every edited airport done by the IFAET.

If you are interested in joining the IFAET see the links below


Now that’s it for me, and I hope you can see just how great the works of the IFAET is!



Just to add some detail.
To make a good Airport the editor also has to collect some data about the airport. Those include a official airport chart and if available a docking chart. If there is no docking chart available, or it does not cover all areas of the airport the search for other sources of proper spawn names starts. This can be pretty difficult.
Also some times there is no complete information about lighting or the satellite image is not good enough to see some details. So a good editor will start searching for images of the airport showing what he needs to now, this includes watching YouTube videos some times. Especially if a editor wants to draw proper lineage inside hangars he needs to search for other sources then satellite images (obviously).
Talking about satellite images, there are certain areas of the world where they are not in a good quality over the whole airport from one source, so some times the editor has to use images from different source on one airport. Most common sources are Google and Bing, but ESRI and Yandex are regularly used as well.


You might want to link our current information thread 😉


Two threads already on this. Add it there 🙂