So I’ve been excited for proper international flights for a while now. That said, due to the pandemic, I was caught away from home and away from my PC, so I have to run the update on my laptop. Seeing as I’d rather not melt it down, I decided to make the most detailed small-airport I could, and for this I selected a popular tourist spot in my home country of Costa Rica. Now, this is a sandbox airport, I should point out, primarily because I had no idea if this concept would work finnancially, and so far, even at max capacity, it’s not working out. So uh… we’ll say we’re getting some government subsidies or something.
Now the concept behind all of this (and likely why it is so expensive to run) is a small, tiny, Lukla-like airport… but luxurious. The idea being that because so many tourists to this area are well off, that they could be attracted to take a regional flight instead of a tour bus by a nice luxurious terminal.
Say hello to the airport! We’ve got one small runway, a small terminal with three gates, and two general aviation stands. We also have a fully functional baggage system (probably where all these government funds are going tbh…) as well as fuel services for all our aircraft.
Here’s a closeup of all our infrastructure.
Some kind employees loading bags onto a luggage truck. Like I said this is a hugeeee waste of money and if I had to try to make it profitable, the sledgehammer would fall on this baggage bay.
That said, again La Fortuna is a place for rich tourists, and if we’re not carrying their bags to the plane, then who do you think will? Themselves?
Here’s a closeup of the gate ramp. Pretty busy day today; two Stripe Regional and a Forest Air flight. This is, again, maximum capacity here.
Let’s take a look at this from the passenger’s POV. Here we have the check-in area; hypothetically it could service four stands.
In designing this airport, we opted to preserve the staff in order to have the personal touch rather than just fully automating it. I suppose another way to try and turn a profit would be to perhaps automate most of the operations.
After checking in, passengers will proceed upstairs for security. Here you can also catch a glimpse of the secure area exit and the baggage carousel, as well as a small staff room.
Bathrooms you ask? Why, we have an outhouse right there!
Yeah, I know our wealthier customers might not like this, but I kind of ran out of space. To compensate, we made the outhouse have extremely nice floors and walls, and only the finest thrones for our passengers. Also there is another bathroom post-security, so this is only for our pre-security customers.
Here we have security, just some simple metal detectors and bag searching as well as the automated emigration-passport scanner. Costa Rica typically mixes the security checkpoint with emigration for international flights (i.e. the security officer who checks your ID also gives you your exit visa), however in the interest of aesthetics for this area (emigration officer is 3 wide in a 4 wide room) I decided to do this digitally.
Just past the checkpoint passengers will find themselves in the shopping area, where we have a convenience store/gift shop (selling… oranges? apparently?) as well as a lovely café based around the aesthetics of the rain forest. Additionally here are the spare bathrooms I mentioned and my office.
When passengers are ready to board, or otherwise want to find the waiting areas, they can descend down this escalator here.
Not going to lie, the waiting area is fairly generic, but what more could you ask for than some nice benches.
wait I forgot to color these gaaAAAAAH
Arriving passengers will find themselves immediatly pushed towards the end of that there corridor and into immigration. Costa Rican immigradtion has always been nice and simple, however, so a single guard can (and so far has) sufficied; lines have been minimal. Passengers will then exit the secure zone to retrieve their baggage.
Side note to the devs if any of them see this. This guy has been stuck in the bathroom door for a while. Don’t know what else to say honestly.
One of my more ridiculous creations here is basically an oversized traffic circle for a ramp. The idea is, because there’s no parallel taxiway for planes to wait on, I need to maximize the space somehow, so a one-way system has helped with this.
To wrap up, we’ll check out what is imo the coolest thing that now actually works. Here you see we have two flights departing at once. Of course being that there’s no parallel taxiway, the planes have to backtrack, turn around, and take off. In previous versions this caused issues, particularly because many would just turn around on the runway.
Planes will now utilize this turnaround point I put at the end of the runway!!!
I don’t know how long this has worked, but I remember it didn’t used to and it has always bugged me. In fact, the system is so smart now that, as you can see, both planes took the opportunity to backtrack at the same time to maximize efficiency, and the Stripe Air simply waits in the space for Forest to leave. It is brilliant, and it makes this entire design work and not back up and clog as I’d feared.
Well, that’s all guys. Thanks if you read all the way through, let me know if y’all have any questions, comments, tips, etc.! Happy building and hope y’all are safe.