How do I Remove a Stock Airport from the Sim?
Sometimes an airport is removed from service or closed and we want to remove it from the sim. Unfortunately we can't do that completely unless we modify stock airport files directly. This is a bad idea and we do not recommend doing this. We can get rid of everything however except for the IDENT in the scenery list which is not so bad.
NOTE that this needs to be done with a pure stock airport without any modifications
Load the stock airport
I am going to remove KHUT which is Hutchinson Municipal in Kansas. This is still an active airport but this method of removing the airport is not destructive (like it would be if we modified the stock airport file) so I can get it back any time I wish.
Remove the airport background (FSX and later)
If you are getting rid of the airport entirely then you will not want the airport background polygon showing up.
- Select the Terrain Polygon Tool
- Draw the polygon so that it cuts the edge of the airport background. Note that we can't currently display the stock airport background in ADE (although this is planned for a later version). If the airport has a fence then generally that follows the bavkground poly and is a good indicator. If it is a runway only airport then try making a poly across the center of the runway and extending some way out to one side or the other.
- When the Property Grid opens select Exclude Specific as the Type and
- Airport Background Flatten MaskClassMap Autogen ans the Tag
- Click OK
Remove airport background (FS9)
If you are doing this for FS9 then ADE is not able to remove the background so you will need to use SBuider to do this.
Check that the background poly is gone
If the airport has ILS then you will need to decide how to handle them. This depends on what your goal is in removing the airport. There are probably two:
- Remove the airport as far as possible from the sim since it no longer exists or is no longer operational
- Remove the airport as part of the process of changing the ICAO. You may want to do this if the ICAO as shown in FS has been changed since the sim was created
We will now look at each in turn
Removing the airport because it no longer exists
You will need to do this for each runway that has ILS
- Select the runway and press the Delete Key
- This dialog will open warning you that this runway has a stock localizer (ILS) and that it cannot be removed permanently but can be orphaned. It also reminds you to remove and approach code but we will deal with that later in any case
- Click Yes. The runway will be gone and the ILS will be orphaned north of the airport on the safe move limit for ILS. It is important not to try and change this since if you do it might result in the original ILS appearing along with the orphaned one
Do not be tempted to use this method if you are changing the airport ICAO (for example if you don't have a ProKey). You will end up with two ILS with the same identifier and that would not be a good thing.
Removing the airport so that you can change the ICAO
IMPORTANT. You will need a ProKey to complete this process. If you do not have one then you can download a trial version. Please also note that it you are changing an ICAO you will need the ProKey also to do that. You will need version 1.66 or later to be able to edit the runway in the Raw Data View. If you have an earlier version then please update.
Repeat this for each runway with an ILS
- Select the runway and press Alt+Enter. This opens the RDV dialog for the runway
- The runway tree will be closed so click the little expand arrow to list everything
- Select the ILS
- Click the Delete Button
- Close the RDV
The ILS feather should be deleted but you may find some left over bits like the Glide Slope. This is just a drawing issue and is a result of using the direct access provided by the RDV. You could save and reload the file to get rid of this but it really is not that important. The ILS is gone.
Remove the airport visual and other elements
You will need to use several techniques to be sure of removing everything. You must not forget things like comms frequencies and approach code. I am going to
- Remove any remaining runways. This needs to be done one by one - make sure you have dealt with the ILS first
- Do a wide rubber band selection to remove anything left in the visible display
- Use the List View and remove as much as I can from those.
- Go to the Approach Mode and use Lists to remove the approaches and as many navaids and way points as possible
Select each runway in turn and use the delete key to remove them. If by chance you get the message about an ILS then go back to that step and deal with it
Remove from the visual display
- Go to the view menu and un-check Terrain Exclusions. This is a very important step. If you forget then the next step will remove your exclusion that gets rid of the airport background polygon. NOTE that this applies to FSX and later. For FS9 you should have created the bgl to remove the background in SBuilder so it will not be in the ADE project
Draw a rubber band around the whole airport. This will select all the visible elements. Use the delete key to remove them. Finally use the View menu to re-show terrain exclusions. You should now have an airport that looks a bit like this
Remove from lists
- Now go the Lists and work through each list in turn. If there is anything left over then delete it from the list.
- Some lists: Comms, Navaids and taxi designators will still have stuff in them. In comms and navaids you will probably find some entries that can't be deleted. These are informational. In the screenshot above I am deleting the comms so I will select and delete those that I can (1) and leave the rest (2)
Remove approaches and fixes
Change the airport name
Check the result
- Save the project now with a name that makes it clear this is a remove airport bgl file
- Compile it
- Run FS and go to the airport list. It should show your changed descriptions. NOTE if these have not changed then please check that you are compiling the Pre-Load Bgl file that is needed to make these changes and also that the bgl file is in Scenery\World\scenery
Now load that airport to make sure that nothing is left showing. You can also check your GPS and so on to be sure that the approach code etc is also gone. Check ATC to be sure no comms frequencies are left also
If you are removing the airport then your job is done. Note that
- Any ILS will be orphaned and will show up in the GPS
- The airport will still be listed in the FS Airport list (we can't get rid of that)
- But otherwise the airport should now be gone for all intents and purposes
If you are doing this to change the ICAO then it is now time to create your new airport