Please note: Airport Master is currently in Early Access Public Alpha stage of development. Some features described here may (and will) change from version to version as game development progresses. If you participate in early-access public alpha testing, keep in mind that savegames created with earlier versions may become unreadable in newer versions.
When will be this or that announced feature included in public alpha\beta build of Airport Master?
As soon as it is practicable; as soon as the feature in question is complete, fully tested and ready for integration with existing parts of the game. For instance: we had fog and rain effects ready in late 2016, yet those are still not in public alpha build for the following reasons - a) until recently, VMC\IMC and VFR\IFR traffics were not fully implemented; b) fog effects still do strange visual blending with the ground features shader we use; c) helicopters fly VFR\SVFR only - we still need to refine flight planning to take this into account; d) wind and windshears should have more visual impact on rain. This is just an example of how a complex game feature relies on implementation of many game mechanics, logics and thus -take our word for it: each and every major feature will be included in Airport Master Public alpha\beta as soon as it is practicable.
What platforms Airport Master will be released on?
The game will be released on Windows PC, then about 2-3 months later Linux and Mac versions are planned for release.
Can I get Early Access?
Yes, follow the link Airport Master Early Access on Steam to get Early Access. By participating in Early Access you not just save money as final game will cost more, you also help us build the game and fund our work on Airport Master!
Will weather affect flight schedule, timetable, flt ops and airport rating?
Once the full dynamic weather is implemented in the game, and as far as player does not have ILS CAT II\CAT III equipment and certification flights will divert to alternate airfield if weather is below minimums (worst minimum is used: airport\aircraft\pilot). In some (rare) cases, when LVP is in effect and during shower rains (SHRA+) some aircraft crews will delay takeoffs until weather improves. That will eventually affect Airport's rating with given Airline motivating player to install and upgrade NAV equipment.
How good is game's flight model?
Every aircraft in the game uses actual thrust to generate corresponding lift and counter drag. Each aircraft has weight (exactly as their real life prototypes), each has correct fuel flow and weight reduction. Each aircraft takes into account wind direction, speed and gust factor. Flight surfaces are subject to imitated atmosphere conditions. No local disturbance other than average of atmosphere around aircraft is calculated (no XPlane style calculations, too costly processor-wise and not intended for games of this genre, see our list of Recommended Flight Simulators for this kind of experience). Braking action is subject to runway conditions and random crew considerations, i.e. you may see a heavier loaded aircraft of same type performing easier braking on landing roll or vice versa. Taxing accuracy is another imitated human-like action: captain or FO will taxi along the apron marking lines but not necessarily over them (these are not 'on rails' - the only condition is that left seat has visual contact with the markings and tries to keep the nose over it). Altitude changes are also not 'on rails' - aircraft uses pitch to climb\descend, at the same time it does conform to 250kts max below FL100 limitation and will use smaller angle of pitch if airspeed is exceeding this limit. Bank and roll are implemented accordingly. Game pilots do not sideslip (yet) to kill off the excess velocity on approach, they just call missed =)
At which point will larger aircraft appear in game?
Soon. After we complete the integration helicopter-ops, the new runway will be added (first for testing by everyone and then it will become an Airport upgrade, Player would need to build up achievements and allocate financial resources to build it. The larger runway will connect to existing Runway 17-35 and will have its own taxiways on opposite side leading to the new apron area where Passenger Terminal 2 will be located; so, first larger airplanes will start to become available as this new segment of Player's Airport is complete.
What's with hangars and FBO's aircraft service business? Any news on Player's FBO being able to sell aircraft servicing?
Hangars Technical Servicing (Form-A & Form-B) is coming really soon. This feature is almost complete and you should expect it as a part of one of the next Airport Master Public Alpha updates.
Will there be cargo flights and cargo terminal?
Yes, this feature is planned.
What about other aviation related activities: gliders, para-drops, technical flights etc?
Those are planned and most probably will be implemented closer to Beta stage of development.
Will the economics become more unpredictable?
Yes, definitely. Our main goal as to economy is to make it so that after couple of weeks of game time two different playthrus would render totally different market situations (both in terms of commodities prices and competing airports services prices). Currently there's some assumed median for fuel cost, hangar time cost, airport fees etc. In future versions those will become more unpredictable and will affect Player's Airport rating if he or she does not keep track of market situation. We have already refined a math model for economical values - it's based on lambda\delta of prices in surrounding Airports (and in case of fuel - at nearby refineries) - this model proved to work exceptionally well as it's been tested on Airlines' ratings.
Will there be people (passengers\crews\technicians\cooks\waiters\etc)?
There are people in the game already. They are currently represented by user interface avatars. We have considered 3D models of people walking around the airport and of course conducted graphics load tests with various LOD\dynamic details settings of our sub-engine. Based on these tests, we can say that a late game airport (two runways, about 30-50 aircraft, twice as many vehicles, LODed terrain, volumetric clouds etc.) can hold decent 50-60 fps on a modern machine with addition of about 50 to 100 3D-people, so technically it's quite possible. However, we strive to make the Ultimate Airport Management and Aviation game - so 3D-people are not top-priority. For now (up to late alpha\early beta) stages of development we will stick to avatars, but again, it is probable that 3D people may appear in final product.
I'm new to the world of aviation. I can see many unknown words and acronyms on these pages - is the game for me?
The game does take place in very realistic imitation of real world airport. However, one should not worry: we take it very seriously that a good game should not just entertain but also teach (both youngsters and adults wishing to learn more about exciting world of modern aviation). You will find a lot of explanations to what this or that piece of equipment does in the game, or what stage of flight it is and what are captain's options and choices. You may take easy approach (say just set the fuel price slightly higher than the average sell price per industry) or you may elect to fine tune fuel prices if you have good understanding how FBO's business works. If you know how to read METAR\TAF - good for you - they are there (all as per standards), if you do not even know what those words stand for - no problem - you will find human-readable (decoded) current weather and 24-hour forecast slightly below in the same user interface screen.
Will there be accidents\incidents?
Incidents (like runway excursions, aborted takeoffs, compressor stalls on jets, emergency landings, engine failures) - yes, those are planned for late alpha\mid-beta. As for accidents (crashes of the airplanes involving trauma and\or fatalities) - no; this is a game about how aviation works not about how airplanes crash or people suffer. We will not be even considering any of such scenarios, please do not ask to include accidents into Airport Master, this will never happen. Please note: this also refers to any symbols of terrorism, hijacking or acts of war. The game ATCs will never see aircraft squawking 7500 on their screens.
Can you confirm Super-Heavies?
Not officially, no. But we really want those airplanes to get their way into Airport Master. Ground parking stands for Supers are confirmed - the only reason we hesitate to confirm Supers altogether is that we have not decided on jetways on Passenger Terminal 2 - if a decision to implement jetways on PT2 is taken, most probably Supers will make their way into the game - keep in mind those have large turnover times - so if we figure out how to not break the time flow in terms of casual Player gameplay experience - we'll add them. Most probably, Super-Heavies (and corresponding service facilities) will be the final-tier Airport upgrades.
There are mostly latest versions of popular aircraft in Airport Master. Will there be vintage\classic era aircraft like 727s, Edgley Optica etc.?
For now, the plan is to include most unique and unusual modern (currently flying or passing certification phase) airplanes in Airport Master. However, we would really love to see retired beasts like MD11s or TU154s (and sure Optica would also look cool!!!) in the game. We suppose that additional aircraft from classic golden years of aviation may become available as inexpensive DLCs grouped into theme-packs: we have data, blueprints and spec charts ready for the following packs as of now: The Cradle of Aviation (think Spirit of St. Louis and later bi-planes), Skysmokers (707, MD11\DC10, L1011 etc.), Soviet Classics (TU134, TU154, IL86, TU104), Beaute du Ciel (think unique French aircraft designs from 70s-90s); So, these are not final and not yet confirmed but we'd love to include those amazing aircraft in the game close to 1.0 release phase or afterwards.
What will be the difference between Career and Free-play modes of the game?
Career mode is expected to be the main game mode, including building up your Airport from small Regional to large International, participate in various questing activities (City Mayor, Chief of Operations, Airlines quests - we are not disclosing the plot at the moment, but those should be really interesting and shine some light at how background life of an Airport is in reality), challenges, achievements etc. Free-play mode is considered (at the design phase of game development) to be somewhat an extension to late-game content offering smooth transition from main story and quests line to procedurally generated challenges that will ensure seasoned Airport Master players still find it interesting to manage their Airport and play in changing (and to some degree unpredictable) circumstances of Airport's everyday life. Free-play mode will become unlocked after upgrading Airport to final-tier and since then Player will be able to start a new free-play mode game (with new randomly generated standings, relations etc.) or elect to continue the Career mode with his or her current setting.