Dev Blog 144: Soon releasing Alpha 34, beginning work on Alpha 35 and the Airport CEO soundtrack now available!

Sounds like the mods need to take a trip to Osaka-Itami, a domestic airport with regular widebody departures.

Also, are we forced into a design where you have to enter the secure area before entering immigration? (like at PER Qantas terminals or PEK T3E)

Awesome Devlog. Excited for the terminal update!

One question though : Business/First class passengers and infrastructure are a big part of every airport but there has so far been no mention of first class passengers, counters and more importantly lounges in any devblog as far as I can tell. Is there any plans to add premium passengers and services?


Looking at this from another perspective, does this mein that If i were to build an airport in a small country that has only one Airport or on domestic airroutes say Skopje Airport (SKP) i won‘t get small planes? This would change the game dynamics for certain locations.

If i were to build an airport in a small country that has only one Airport or on domestic airroutes say Skopje Airport (SKP) i won‘t get small planes?

Hmm :thinking:

@Fredrik I see that some countries have only 1 airport on data sheet so what would happen in such a case? So far I found countries with 1 airport; Aruba, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, Gibraltar.

How about Singapore and Hong Kong?

Singapore does have 2 commercial airports, but it makes no sense to fly SIN-XSP - and don’t forget about the air bases which somehow have IATA codes.

I believe Hong Kong also only has HKG.

North macedonia has 2 airports. What‘s the point in having a domestic Terminal with all flights Going between Skopje and Ohrid. Where is the fun in that?Same for slovenia, Montenegro, cypress, Malta, pacific and many caribbean Islands, where by the way, much of the international flights are done by small airplanes.

What if we were to decide which area and thus which gates require passport control and which not? Like adding an extra button to the gate control which enables international flights?

I too would like to see widebodies doing domestic flights and light props doing internationals.

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Forgive my lack of understanding, but how will it work if we designate large stands to use medium aircraft? Based on my comprehension, medium aircraft can work both domestic and international, while small aircraft are domestic only and large aircraft are international only.

In that case, will medium planes be able to delineate between domestic and international terminals when choosing which gate to take upon arrival? In other words, will medium domestic flights know to not use the large stand connected to an international terminal? Or is that functionality disappearing?

If medium flights can tell the difference, then I don’t see why small or large planes couldn’t follow the same principles. The destination terminal is all that should matter. When you’re scheduling, I would imagine there has to be a “switch” that toggles on or off depending on the flight plan. I’m also wondering if flights can be mixed between domestic and international routes (meaning the destination is the opposite of where the flight arrived from).

Also, how will this alter contracts? Will contracts be divided by international vs. domestic flights, or still lumped together solely by airline? If the latter, will international flights not be offered at all until we have built an international terminal?

Thank you!

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Interesting dev diary, but there are some additional questions I have:

  1. Will customs be a part of the international flight update? It’ll be weird that border controls only controls entry of people and not goods as well.
  2. For baggage pickup zone, will it still be outside the secure zone? Or will baggage pickup for inbound international flights be a separate zone?
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That’s such a design bug.

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I would also voice that all aircraft be capable of handling a international and domestic flights. I would suggest and rather prefer the delimitation of which stand acts as domestic and international be governed by not the stand type but by the boarding desk in use. We could have a 2 different kinds of boarding desks or we can have a toggle button on boarding desk allowing to switch from domestic to international operations at particular gate. Of course this goes without saying to activate international boarding desk you would need to have that gate access to the passport control and be zoned as international area.

Apart from having wide bodies and narrow bodies able to serve as both international and demotic operation flights, I like the implementation that is currently proposed in the Dev blog. Looking forward to playing this update when it becomes avilabel.

I wanted to echo what has already been mentioned about large aircraft only being for international. I understand and respect the difficulty in creating such a functionality but would think it would be best to set it up correctly in the first place. There are plenty of domestic widebody flights in all different parts of the world and it would be a shame to not see that here.

Perhaps all the gates can be developed to be able to handle both domestic and international flights. This is how most international gates are setup anyway.


I am rather confused by your point here. It appears in the beginning your concern is the amount of development time that would be necessary to allow domestic flights for large aircraft, however it should use the same system as medium aircraft. If routes are already generated based on what airports have these flights IRL, and a system is already in place for discerning international and domestic routes, what else would need to be developed?

The second half of the paragraph seems to be concerned with the difficulty a player may experience. In that regard I would like to point out that games like Kerbal Space Program, that simulate orbital mechanics to the degree used by NASA to plan the Apollo missions, do very well. Players love games that have complex systems for them to learn, and manipulate. As long as these features are explained in a tutorial, new players shouldn’t have any issue grasping them. For this issue specifically, a simple line in the description of the large stand that says “Airlines prefer to use large aircraft on longer routes, this may prevent domestic routes generating in smaller countries” should suffice to prevent any new players experiencing issues with this.

Of all the features this game could have, I feel like the biggest thing missing right now is complexity. Once I understand how a system works, I would love to be challenged to use a creative solution to a complex problem (like routing baggage across multiple terminals for connecting flights). Not only does the game fail to “force” me into any position that requires a complex design, usually if I try to use one for artistic purposes the simplified systems in game make it utterly worthless (like having separate bus stops for arrivals and departures). While a lot of this stems from the fact that the game isn’t finished yet, I find it very disheartening to hear the developers express concern that the current system is “an already complex process”. Seeing how this thread has exploded I feel like I’m not alone here. I have seen too many good games fail because the developers over simplified the game in an order to bring in new fans, and lost most of their existing player base.


@Olof Cant wait till the passport control. Will the Large Security Checkpoint also be released in the Alpha 35 update?

The beta stage will be, compared to the rest of the full-length Airport CEO development life-cycle, a relatively short period and only focus on ruthless bug fixing, balancing and improvements: No new content will be added.

Nobody has talked about but I think this is a great news. AirportCEO always have been having some inny-tiny bugs that have no effects on gameplay or game’s itself but they somehow notice them by being there. Bugs such as misspells, color of right hand side buttons, mouse movement over sub-menu, some vehicles driving on each other, texture missmatch, repetative music and so on…

So I think on Beta stage, developers will flush down all bug reports on Trello and clean up the list.

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Thanks for the many inputs and feedback around this topic. We love that there are so many engagements around this topic. :slight_smile: I think I have read most of your comments and I feel there is a need to clarify certain things as well as highlight our “dilemma” with passport immigration.

First of all, we feel that Airport CEO has reached or is near its maximum complexity level. We have multiple terminal and incident coming up and we don’t want to add a lot of complexity in an attempt to 100% accurately simulate passport immigration. I know some of you would say, but what about KSP and Paradox’s game? Well, I played a lot of HOI4, EU4 and Stellaris. Before I even installed these games I watched several long YouTube tutorials, because I knew from their reputation that these were extremely complicated games and required a lot of patient from me as a new player. I don’t think we have that reputation on Airport CEO, new players see us as a variant of Prison Architect and set their expectations accordingly. Although everyone here on the forum are really knowledgeable about airports and Airport CEO, you would be surprised to see some bug reports we get when people get things horribly wrong.

User reported bug, Where do we start explaining passport immigration here?

Secondly, our current dilemma with passport immigration. We want to give the player the option to start their airport anywhere in the world. This may include small one airport countries like you discussed a bit further up. So here is the dilemma, we see passport immigration as an advance feature that should be introduced in the final steps of the tutorial not to interfere with players just learning to setup a new airport and manage passenger flow.

  • One option, which we discussed in the Devlog, is to enforce passport immigration on large stands only and run both domestic/international flights on these stands (in reality it will more likely be 99% international anyway). All other stands can have both domestic/international flights without the need for passport immigration. This might defer a bit from real life but will go well with the current game progress.

  • The other option I see is to have passport immigration as unlockable project and still allow airports to run international flights without the need for passport immigration check until this project is activated. That way you can have an airport on Malta from the start and run small international flights without any need for passport immigration. Then as you unlock passport immigration we can do domestic/international checks so that stands connected to passport immigration zone will only receive international flights.

We are happy to receive any other ideas but they need to fulfill our requirements:

  • Passport immigration should not be introduced until mid/late-game.
  • 1 airport countries must be able to run small commercial flights without the use of passport immigration.
  • Passport immigration should not add unnecessary complexity and should be easy to understand.
  • Schengen or similar rules cannot be implemented as it will require various edge cases and modification of the current system.

I hope this clarifies the topic a bit and gives our view of the “dilemma” with passport immigration. :slight_smile:

Edit: We should call it passport immigration instead of customs. Customs is of course a different thing altogether.


Thanks for clearing things up, Fredrik!

I think second option is the way to go. To make it a bit more realistic (and make us hardcore avgeeks happy), you could write in the tutorial something like: “your airport has been approved for customs-free operations due to … (money, political situation or whatever)”.
When the research of customs is done, a new e-mail could arrive saying: “The customs-free operations agreenment has now ended. All international flights now require customs”. Or something like that :slight_smile:

But please let us use all the gates for both domestic and international flights.


I think with both options you still need to explain certain things to the user:

Option 1 - why customs is only needed for large stands/flights

Option 2 - why all international flights now needs customs.

I’d prefer the second option - as @geopilot says, the second option can be addressed with an email/notification to say that some agreement or grace period has ended and customs facilities are now needed for all international flights. If in the first option you can run domestic flights from large stands, then users may just forgo building customs facilities and save the cost of building/staffing these facilities.

As an aside - will international flights generate more revenue to counter the costs associated with having customs facilities?


I think this is quite reasonable, but I disagree with it being a mid/late game thing - the research project could probably just be completed earlier if you’re in a place without domestic flights, or are just ambitious and want to cash in on Chinese money.

Small airports in Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands do get international flights, but those are probably a minority. JHB, for one, is a relatively small 5 gate facility, but it has a CIQ facility and can handle international flights. Different airports do have different challenges, with de-icing already being a precedent?

As for handling separate customs requirements, is it possible to make a “flights from XYZ must arrive into X zone” restriction? Modders could then add the separate zones for Schengen et al, leaving only secure-domestic and international in the base game.


That’s how I saw SimAirport and not Airport CEO. I always thought Airport CEO will give something more complex. I don’t know how Sky Haven will be in the end, but if all these games: SimAirport, Airport CEO & Sky Haven target to be just a variant of Prison Architect, then maybe I should have stayed with just the first one I got, the SimAirport… :frowning: