Airport Design Editor Help ToolsHow do I Change the Altitude of an Airport?

How do I Change the Altitude of an Airport?

Introduction

Sometimes it is necessary to change the altitude of an airport.  It could be that you have installed a custom mesh and the airport is no longer flat to the ground.   This is not as simple as changing the altitude of the airport in the properties dialog.  ADE does not allow this to be changed since it has no useful effect on its own.  While in most cases FS honors the last file loaded in the case of airport properties it honors the first.  So if we want FS to accept our altitude change then we have to create a special Bgl file that loads before the stock airport.  Generally we put these in World Scenery since we know that will load before any stock airport files.

Introduction

Load the Airport

Load the airport that you want to revise the altitude for.  This is KHUT

Open the Airport Properties

Open the Airport Properties

The stock altitude for this airport is a little over 470m.  We are going to change this to 450m.

Other Airport Elements that Have an Altitude Property

It is not enough to change the reference altitude of the airport.  There are a number of other parts of the airport that have an altitude that could be set differently than the airport reference altitude.  Generally we don't want this.  Below are two examples - Runways and Starts.  Both are currently at the airport reference altitude.  If we changed the airport reference altitude but not the runways and starts then, in the case of this tutorial, the airport would end up at 450m while the runways and starts would be 20m higher.  Other elements like aprons and taxiways have no altitude property and automatically stick with the airport reference altitude.

Other Airport Elements that Have an Altitude Property

Open the Change Airport Altitude Tool

Open the Change Airport Altitude Tool

This is a simple dialog that just has one thing to change - the altitude.

  1. Here we just change the value to 450m
  2. To proceed  click the Change button.  If you change your mind now use Cancel to get back to the airport display.

Change Airport Altitude for Non Stock (User Created) Airport

Change Airport Altitude for Non Stock (User Created) Airport

If the airport is not stock - that is an airport created by the user that has an Ident not in the stock list - then ADE now offers the option of creating a stub.  By default this is turned off since it is not required.  However for some advanced users who may have several Bgl files related to their airport then having a Bgl file that they know will load before anything else may be of benefit.

Advisory Notice

This notice will appear when you select the Change Button.  It is warning you that the change will not affect background polys or  terrain flattens.  These can be complex and in some cases involve slopes.  We feel that you will know what and why the background polys and flattens are set the way they are and it is too risky to let ADE decide to change them.

If you want to complete altitude change then click OK.  If you are not sure or want to check any terrain elements first then click Cancel.

Advisory Notice

The Revised Properties

We will now check the altitude properties for the airport, the runway and the start.  This confirms that ADE has now changed everything that needs changing (other than terrain elements as mentioned above)

The Revised Properties

The Title Bar

ADE changes the description in the Title bar when an airport has a revised altitude.  This is a reminder that this airport will not be set at the stock airport in sim.

The Title Bar

Compile the Airport

To get FS to recognize and act on the revised altitude you need to compile the airport.  In addition to the standard Bgl file(s) created for the airport a special one will be created and placed in the World Scenery Folder.  This is sometimes call a 'stub' or 'pre-load' Bgl file.

Compile the Airport

Check the Pre Load Bgl File

  1. Open the ..\Scenery\World\Scenery folder
  2. The pre-load Bgl file is present and has _ALT in the name to indicate that this is changing the altitude of KHUT.

Conclusion

That completes the task of changing the altitude for this airport and concludes the tutorial

4 Comments

Matt Richard

What should I do if there is no stub created in world scenery. Should I be compiling this to certain location? I tried to change the alt. at an airport I have been modifying, and there were plateaus everywhere that the stock airport background flatten existed under my new one. The lack of stub in world scenery seems to be the culprit. Also, I do not have a "Change Airport Altitude" under tools. Only " Change Airport Reference Data" I'm assuming this is an update?

Jon Masterson

Sorry for the slow reply. The best place to get help with this is on the Airport Design Editor support forum at www.fsdeveloper.com. Someone there will be able to help

Jon
ScruffyDuck Software

Kevin Davis

I created an airport from scratch, and it was successfully compiled into FSX, but the objects I put in (library buildings), are floating. It's a hospital heliport, so I used the hospital1 library object and the medical heliport. I wondered if the issue was that I had the altitude of the objects set at 204 meters, which is the elevation of the actual airport. Should those values be at zero? Also, when I tried to change that, the altitude section was grayed out, and wouldn't let me change it, so it stayed at 204 meters. Any help you can provide is appreciated.
Regards,
Kevin Davis

Jon Masterson

I think you asked part of this on the support forum. That is the best place to get help

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