Taxi to nearest runway or divide traffic equally?

Frederik: There seem to be two sides here. Some want the aircraft to always go for the nearest runway no matter what. Some wants the system to divide between any available runways. They way it was before was kind of random so they would distribute evenly. I recently added a distance factor as well which is why some of you see a different behavior where they will pick the nearest instead. I’m open for input here.

Hi @Frederik,

Speaking for me, I believe that the distance factor has a negative and limiting impact on the way we design our airports.

In this system aircrafts choose the nearest runway relative to their parking stand. This means that several runways have to be placed equally close to the same amount of stands. Only so, congested runways are avoided.

Let’s use my airport as an example. In my airport design, I kept in mind that the terminal might grow in the future and therefore placed the second runway farther away. As a result, This runway is hardly used at the moment and the closest runway is fully congested.

In reality, runways aren’t either assigned based upon the location relative to the stand. More based upon wind, dep. route and congestion.

In short: This system puts the runway in the center of the airport design instead of the terminal. Equal spreading of aircraft traffic is the way to go for a realistic and unrestricted airport design!

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Maybe I am unique here, but I want a functional simulation game.

Not a just for experts, complicated, RL based system for managing runways or airports in general.

Like this. I simply do not care for our game.

But, if somebody wants or DEVS to spend a lot of time investing in reality. Sure. But I dont get it.

Because, if you want RL airport stuff;

  • Add pre-simulating of air traffic streams, sound projection, environmental impact analysis, road logistic bottleneck stream models, risk inventories (I have a Bachelor in this, it costs 4 years to learn the basics).
  • Have huge legal bills for costly and long pre-build projects with a certain chance of failure!
  • Add public contracting agreements per project, with court battles, timers, lobby effects, etc.
  • Add private and public bonds (like in Railroad Tycoon) (plus fix loan refactoring in the finance menu)
  • Add project delays due changes in staff, elections, audits, new treaties that come in effect while you build your airport.
  • Have contractors pull out of contracts (airliners, oil, etc)
  • Change building costs midway of building your airport, or simply have the game report a complete lack of an item for building stuff.

So then the Devs could remove:

-Taxiing
-Turnarounds
-Landing
-Takeoff

And then Pathing is gone …

Some realism is needed in this Game even when it’s a Tycoon Game and not a Simulation.

I dont get that at all.

Taxiing ~ has a very nice implementation and has come a huge way in the last 3 years. The devs should get compliments for that, not complaints about realism. Only from the point of current collisions and distancing between planes, I get.

Turnarounds ~ I dont know what that does in this context. It seems some people find there to be to many, some people are fine with it. I am ok with either, as long as it is predictable for the player.

Landings/Takeoff ~ The game came a huge way, in the last 3 years, in what can be set on runways and in stands, taxiways and other buildings related to airport movements and decisions. Again; the DEVS need a compliment for that. Positive, constructive feedback is awesome. Tell what you want to change, and why, and how you would implement it, plus why other players would want that in this game; the general Tycoon player. Not only the niche Experts, plus more as “its not realistic”.

Let me add; early Alpha, wind directions on Runways did change and the pathfinder made a mess of it.

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No, it’s easier than that. Just by removing the recently added ‘distance factor’. That’s all :wink: !

On a side note, expressions of preferences have nothing to do with complaints. This game is an absolute piece of art!

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Sometimes its very direct and compact, with niche knowledge. Then it does not feel very warm, whatever the subject.

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I don’t get that at all.

Same

Taxiing ~ has a very nice implementation and has come a huge way in the last 3 years. The devs should get compliments for that, not complaints about realism. Only from the point of current collisions and distancing between planes, I get.

Truth

Turnarounds ~ I don’t know what that does in this context. It seems some people find there to be to many, some people are fine with it. I am ok with either, as long as it is predictable for the player.

Agree

Landings/Takeoff ~ The game came a huge way, in the last 3 years, in what can be set on runways and in stands, taxiways and other buildings related to airport movements and decisions. Again; the DEVS need a compliment for that. Positive, constructive feedback is awesome. Tell what you want to change, and why, and how you would implement it, plus why other players would want that in this game; the general Tycoon player. Not only the niche Experts, plus more as “its not realistic”.

Agree

Let me add; early Alpha, wind directions on Runways did change and the pathfinder made a mess of it.

I was not aware, perhaps early Alpha is prior to my joining Oct 2017, but solid try on the wind direction thing. Makes me wonder if the crosswinds that are terrifying for passengers, master testers of applied physics addition and worse at 10,000 at RNO in Reno NV would cause more crashes of small planes or something… those winds… they make a mess of everything, but they still gotta take off and land on the same runways… .the direction is never into the winds… it’s always cross winds…

I wish I knew how to read the wind direction pilot maps… you can clealy tell when someone is not used to the winds of RNO or didn’t take them seriously.

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It’s interesting that the airport you are using as an example has 7 runways and has the most runways of any airport in the world and most airports in the world have maybe 1 or 2 runways and queueing for a take off slot is common place, especially in the UK where most of our airports have 1 runway and if you want a real life experience then queueing to take off is part of that.

I remember waiting to take off once and we had to either change our take off direction or runway due to the wind direction. I agree that adding in wind direction to determine which runway an aircraft takes off from would add to the realism however I bet from a coding point of view this would be a nightmare and if you only have one runway then there isn’t much choice. Also adding more depth/realism to the game will affect performance and my game already struggles if I zoom out.

Also in reality the CEO of an airport would have no say over which runway an aircraft would take off from - this would be done by air traffic control, who I believe, in the UK at least, are not employees of the airport, the CEO would also be unlikely to schedule flights in real life and perform a number of other tasks that we do in the game.

As an airport simulation game this is fantastic and adding further complexity the the ATC would probably put people off the game, especially with the level of complexity that the already is, getting a working baggage system for some players is an example of this. If you create your taxiways intuitively and use the no entry and aircraft size holding point markers you can direct the aircraft to the runways you want them to go to.

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It’s interesting that the airport you are using as an example has 7 runways and has the most runways of any airport in the world and most airports in the world have maybe 1 or 2 runways and queueing for a take off slot is common place, especially in the UK where most of our airports have 1 runway and if you want a real life experience then queueing to take off is part of that.

The O’hare layout is just the best example to demonstrate that the main criteria for runway layouts isn’t the relative distance to the stand. In ACEO this is the case under the current system.

The effect and limitations of having two runways in ACEO with the new system become apparent on the underneath screenshots. Queuing like this can’t be good :wink: !

Both runways at the same moment:

I agree that it shouldn’t be like that, especially the planes on top of each other - I’m pretty sure we would have a lot more emergencies if that actually happened!

It looks like your planes move from right to left in your airport and land on the right runway and take off from the left. I appreciate that I haven’t seen any flights land and maybe they are split equally however to me it would make sense to set one runway for landings and one for take offs. When I do this it usually alleviates long taxi queues and I have 15 small stands and 9 medium and handle around 120 flights a day with 2 small runways and one medium.

I would have thought in real life of an airport has two or more runways it would set one for departure and one for arrivals.

I appreciate you may not want to play the game like that but it would probably solve your issue as your departing flights are likely waiting for arriving flights at some points which delays your departing flights.

Thanks for your tips!

The runways are indeed not dedicated to only take-offs or landings. Even though that was the initial plan. I had to change this, because the runway used for take-offs wasn’t coping with all the flights. The queues were even longer. Especially when de-icing was performed at one runway.

Right now, 80% of the traffic use the congested runway. Even arrivals are delayed at touch-down, because this runway’s capacity is at its limits. At the same time, the other runway is empty. This isn’t really logic. Especially not when having a runway capacity indicator, making players aware when to build another runway. Now one can build ten runways and only one is used. That is confusing for any player.

In my case, this system doesn’t work. The solution would be a capacity-based instead of distance-based-system. That equally all available slots are used on all runways. Then there is no queueing, neither for take-off nor for landing.

It was already a thing in the past, at the time there were holding points instead of runway exits in the game, so I don’t think it would really be a nightmare from the coding point.

Do all of your flights land/ take off at the same time? As I would have thought from what I can see you can have max 48 large flights a day, unless you have more stands not visible from the images and I would have thought spreading out their arrival and departure times shouldn’t cause big queues. In fact I’m surprised that happens at all. I have one medium runway for around that number of medium flights and I don’t usually get massive queues.

Landings and departures are evenly spread. The traffic just stacks up at the runway as it is at its capacity limit.

The purple plane and the red plane are the reflection of your true problem. Planes are getting into situations where they are traveling from opposite directions to the same point. This will cause problems every time. One way traffic, however you get to it, is the solution.

Multiple runway entry points is asking the pathing to do too much. Let them all wait equally in line. All enter at the back of the runway.

You have too many opportunities for planes to jump in line. Make them form a single line. Get rid of the taxi lights that connect the left and right taxiways. Make them all go down and then up. There’s no reason that set up can’t smoothly handle that volume of aircraft. You could consider adding one more on each side, but it is plenty sufficient.

All I see here is the product of someone learning the dynamics of ramp ops in this game. It’s not easy to master. I would venture to say I’ve barely gotten past figured it out. Keep at it. There are a lot more tricks

Yeah I always use a one way taxiway system, it allows for better control over where your aircraft go although depending on how far the aircraft have to taxi it can cause delays.

Only when it’s not possible do I allow two way flow over the same taxiway and usually this is only for a few stands and over a short distance. Try what @Bardaek said and use one way taxiways with one entrance point for departing aircraft but multiple exit points for arriving aircraft as it helps to get smaller aircraft off the runway faster and change your runways so you have one for arrivals and one for departures.

This should solve your issues.

I appreciate your suggestions. But frankly, this layout was working until the distance factor was added in and all traffic started to relay on one runway. I did not experience major issues with the one point. The one way point on the tarmac is not the source of the single runway not coping with the volume.

If you check both runways, then the left runway indicates 9 airplanes in pattern and the right one 0. On top of these 9, there are 8 airplanes trying to take-off from runway left and 0 from runway right. As a result incoming flights delay, and the departure queue stacks up and conflicts with other taxiing traffic.

The solution is in spreading the traffic volume. But thanks for your help!

How about a solution like we have in many railway building games.

We could have some signage or lights that we can place at the side of the taxiway that act as a signal. Between each signal would be a block. Each time a plane reaches a signal it looks to see if the next one is free.

We can then make our own decisions about where we want the planes to stop. The plane can then reserve the blocks as they travel around the ground.

I’ve probably not explained that very well.

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I understand what you mean. You are suggesting that we create ‘signal blocks’ where only one plane can be on each block at once. You could also set the direction so that arriving aircraft do not enter the departing aircraft blocks and vice versa.

A good idea and I guess this is how ATC works in real life and the tower can see where aircraft are and obviously not let one enter a section where another one is as there would be a crash. Unlike the game where sometimes aircraft stack on top of each other like in @Tomkuehne screenshots above.

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