Introduction

Always very exciting when one of your favorite developers releases a highly anticipated airport. Pacsim always succeed in developing great airports, I got most of them and they are all amazing. Development for Taipei took almost 2 years and I’m very happy to review it to see if it was worth the wait.

Airport background

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (IATA: TPE, ICAO: RCTP) formerly Chiang Kai-Shek International Airport, also known simply as Taoyuan Airport or C.K.S. Airport, is Taiwan’s major international gateway located in Taoyuan County, about 40 km west of Taipei City, Taiwan.

The airport is the main international hub for China Airlines and EVA Air. It is also home to TransAsia Airways, V Air and TigerAir Taiwan.

In 2014, the airport handled a total of 35,804,465 passengers and 2,088,726,700 kg of freight making it the 11th busiest airport worldwide in terms of international passenger numbers and 5th busiest in terms of international freight traffic. The busiest international routes from Taoyuan Airport in 2014 were Hong Kong (6.9m), Tokyo (2.2m), Osaka (2m), Shanghai (1.7m) and Seoul (1.6m).

There are currently 2 operative terminals in Taoyuan Airport. Terminal 1 has 18 gates and is divided in Concourse A and Concourse B. It was opened in 1979 and renovated in 2012. Terminal 2 was opened in 2000 and is divided in Concourse C or South, and Concourse D or North. Terminal 1 and 2 are connected by two people mover lines, connecting concourse A to D, and B to C. Both terminals are connected via Skytrain shuttle.

The airport is currently near its maximum capacity and congested. Terminal 2 is under an expansion to increase the terminal capacity by 5 million passengers. The runways and jetbridges are being expanded in order to allow regular A380 flights. So far only one A380 jetbridge has been implemented at Gate 2C. There are some plans to build a new terminal, Terminal 3, at the airport which will see a projected increase of 45 million passengers by 2020.

There are more than 50 airlines operating at Taoyuan Airport, with destinations worldwide. The airlines with more passenger traffic in 2014 were:

  • China Airlines (10.2m)
  • EVA Air (7.6m)
  • Cathay Pacific (3.9m)
  • TransAsia Airways (1.2m)
  • China Southern Airlines (1m)

Installation

The scenery can be bought from the official site from the developer or from several flight sim stores like; Fspilotshop, PC aviator, and Simmarket for about 35 euros. The download is 1.2 GB large and and the activation key is sent after payment via e-mail. The installation takes about 1.24 GB of your flightsim installation. There is only 1 installation download and is compatible with FSX boxed, FSX steam edition and Lockheed Martin’s Prepar3D. In this review I will be testing the Prepar3D version.

Manual

The manual comes in PDF & Doc formats, and includes the following items:

  • Airport background
  • Product features
  • System-specific requirements
  • Recommended sim settings
  • Known Third Party compatibility issues
  • Product disclosure and disclaimer
  • Acknowledgments

A little bit disappointed that they didn’t include any airport diagrams and charts which is a pretty basic requirement for airports nowadays.

Overview

Lets start with a comparison between Google earth’s picture and the sim top down view.

enclosure 1Google earth picture 


enclosure 2Prepar3D top down view

From first glance I would say Pacsim did an excellent job in not only modeling the airport but also the area around it, let’s have a closer look.

The airport

Using ORBXs Bob tool and Ezdok it’s easy to go on a sightseeing tour around the new airport. One thing is clear this airport is the main hub for Eva Air and a hub for China airlines as well. I use Ultimate Traffic for AI traffic add on an it fills the airport very well. The airport buidlings, terminals and hangars are well modeled and have great textures. The hangars are filled with aircraft’s that are undergoing maintenance. The terminals have nice window textures and if you look very closely you can even see the interior, this adds to the realism. Taxiways and runways look good and are surrounded with volumetric grass, which always looks nice. Parking ramps and gates are populated with ground vehicles and catering vehicles , but somehow miss (static) ground crew. The many parking lots are crowded by parked cars, buses and taxi’s there’s even an animated skytrain.

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Surrounding area

Pacsim did more than only the airport they also modeled the surrounding villages and city centers and even the Sangley Naval Base Airport. Factory’s & companies are modeled as well. Many other landmarks can be found around the airport vicinity. They spend many hours placing custom handplaced autogen and this clearly shows. Taking a GA aircraft to discover this all is a great experience and setting your autogen and vegetation settings to max really has no impact on fps.
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Night lighting

Pacsim used custom night lighting for the airport which looks pretty good, it’s not the best we’ve seen but it is good. Take a look at the screenshots too see. If you compare it to FlyTampa Sydney or some of the newer Aerosoft/Taxi2Gate scenery you don’t see the Volumetric sense in them

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List of features

  • Accurate terminal (1 and 2) buildings  concourses, hangars and airport layout;
  • Taoyuan and Dayuan cities/districts and suburbs represented;
  • Updated/extended runways 05R/23L and 05L/23R and connecting taxiways. Added HD custom runway and apron/tarmac textures;
  • Custom vegetation and objects;
  • 3D grass throughout airport area;
  • High resolution (7cm-30cm pixel) photoreal textures covering over 1026 sq mi.;
  • Color-corrected ground and water textures to reflect real-world land and water colors;
  • Accurate hand-placed autogen that conforms with city, town, district, and farm grids;
  • Major landmarks and high-rise buildings;
  • Custom night light effects and street lighting throughout the airport and surrounding areas;
  • Rotating beacons;
  • Animated windmill farms along coastline;
  • Animated Skytrain (behind concourses);
  • Static local ground service equipment, cars and planes;
  • AI ground vehicle conforms with real-world road grid;
  • Fully optimized for steady/smooth simulation experience. All autogen can be set to the 100% with very little impact on FPS;
  • ….and more.

Compatibility

No Compatibility issues found, although it’s a pity that jetways still need AES to move which is to bad for Prepar3D users. The airport features the correct parking spots.

Performance

When first booted up at the new airport with my PMDG 777-300ER (with Hello Kitty livery of course) the exterior FPS were above 70! FPS never dropped below 50 in any VC of the collection of aircraft such as PMDG’s and Aerosoft Airbus aircraft’s and never below 60 FPS in exterior views. The VAS stayed above 1 GB when flying in & out of the airport with complex aircrafts.

System specs:

Intel I7 6700K overclocked to 5.0 ghz
16 GB DDR4 memory
2x GTX 980 in SLI
Windows 10 x64 pro
P3D very minimal tweaked with a custom Nvidia Inspector profile