Airport Design Editor HelpGetting StartedHow do I Open a Stock Airport?

How do I Open a Stock Airport?

Most folks will want to start work by opening a stock airport (one that already exists in the simulator)  It can be your local airport for example.  This is the best way to start your first ADE project

Go to the File Menu and choose Open Stock Airport

The airport list

The airport list

You can find your stock airport in two ways:

  1. Use the airport tree
  2. Search for the name or ident of the airport

I am going to look for Canberra Airport in Australia

Use the airport tree

Use the airport tree
  1. The airport tree will be closed when you first see the dialog so click on the small + to expand it
  2. Airports are listed by country so work down to find the country you are interested in - Australia in our case
  3. Keep opening the small + boxes until you reach the airport you want to open
  4. Double click on the airport and ADE will open it for you.  Alternatively you can click the Open button on the dialog if you wish

Use the search function

Use the search function
  1. Select what property you want to search within
  2. Contains means that ADE will search for the selected text within the property so you can enter a few letters and if they appear anywhere then the airport will be selected.  Alternatively use Starts With and enter a few letters to look for at the start
  1. Click the Find Now button or use the enter key in the search text box.
  2. ADE will list all the airports that match the search text.  There could be a long list so you may need to look for the one you want.  They will be listed by Ident

Double Click the airport in the list or use the Open button and ADE will open your stock airport

Save your airport

If you open a stock airport with the intention of making some changes to it then you should Save the Project File now.  ADE works with Project Files and you should always load and save your work this way.



Hi. Thanks for this page, which is very clear. Yet, a major problem may occur if there is NO AIRPORT in the Airport List. What are we supposed to do then? I would have been very glad to find the answer on this page. Thanks beforehand... Regards. Georges

Jon Masterson

It seems to me that you do not have ADE set up correctly. The airport list is part of the installation. The best place to get help with this is on the Airport Design Editor support forum at Someone there will be able to help

ScruffyDuck Software

[email protected]

when Im trying to open the airport Decompiler error is appearing -
thanks in advence

Jon Masterson

The best place to get help for this is on the Airport Design Editor Support Forum at


Stock airports will not open for me. They start but then freeze and not open. No problem with ad on airports opening.

Jon Masterson

This is likely related to ADE generating detailed footprints for library objects. The best place to get help with this is on the Airport Design Editor support forum at Someone there will be able to help

ScruffyDuck Software

Aaron Belenky

I too am having problems opening Stock Airports.
When I select my airport, the progress bar for "Loading Detailed Footprints" seems to get stuck around 75%.
This is for FSX (original, not Steam), on Windows7, with ProKey.

Jon Masterson

ADE is generating footprints if it does not have them. This can be a slow process but only happens the first time you load a stock airport that it does not already have the footprints for. To save this wait you can download the detailed footprint database directly from here This will save you waiting

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