More management tools and control

Right now, the role of the player is pretty much confined to building the airport, and acquiring resources, with very little control over the actual operation of the airport. With Alpha 34 looking to address game play, I figured now would be a good time to mention my suggestions for improving the management aspect of the game.

Before I get started, I am going to mention a few ideas that are highly requested, that will be necessary for some of my suggestions. So for the sake of clarity I will pretend that connecting flights, airline gate assignment, different classes of passenger (business, first, economy), and re-booking of passengers that missed flights are in.

Now on to the list:

  • Airport demand: This will not only impact the number of gates an airline requests, but also the number of passengers traveling to/from the airport. This demand should partly be controlled by location, an airport in NYC or London will have higher demand than Dodge City Kansas (middle of nowhere, rural USA). However, passenger and airline satisfaction will also increase this demand, and the player should have some other tools (advertising, tourist attraction partnerships, prices) to increase this demand. Airports with low demand can still have large numbers of connecting passengers, which will require different infrastructure than an airport with many destination arrivals. Additionally, demand should change with time of day, and day of the week (another change to make), with fewer passengers at night, and fewer business class on weekends.

  • Operating Hours: Currently our airports are always fully staffed, with all of the equipment running, and we can either procure night flights and have flights around the clock, or not procure it and lose a bunch of money every night. Instead, the player should be able to set active hours for the airport as a whole, and for each stand, desk, vehicle, checkpoint, and baggage bay. This will not only allow players to control the amount of down time their airport has each day, but allows allow for limited operations to occur at specified times. This can tie in with demand, to only run a few stands during times with low demand (at night, weekends), maximizing profit by reducing operating costs when services are under utilized.

  • Employee shifts/work schedule: Like operating hours, this can help reduce costs when fewer staff members are needed, but it will also add more complexity to managing an airport. Each employee should have a limit to the number of consecutive hours they work (nobody works constantly right?), so hiring more employees will be necessary for around the clock service. To decrease the workload on the player, scheduling employees should be mostly automated (maybe an optional tick for people who really want to micro manage) with the player specifying specific shift times, and number of employees on a shift. For example, I could set a 12 hour shift from 7 am to 7 pm (07-19 for you Europeans) with 15 ramp agents, and another shift from noon to midnight with 6 ramp agents, and the automated scheduler would assign hired employees to the shifts, giving me 21 ramp agents in the afternoon.

  • Active runways: Currently we can turn a runway on and off, however the direction is not changeable (UI for the new take-off locations makes me think this is coming), and more importantly, we can set schedule runway activity. This can tie in with scheduling of other airport activity, ie more active runways at peak times, but it should also have settings for max crosswind (once crosswind thresholds are actually implemented) so you can increase the crosswind threshold before a runway goes inactive, allowing your primary runways to stay active longer, with a higher chance of missed approaches, useful in airports with only a single crosswind runway, and multiple primary runways. This will be even more important once runway intersections are implemented, to ensure that primary runways are active in weak crosswinds.

Lastly, I would like to propose a return of employee wage control, with limited range of values, with higher values increasing the skill, and number of candidates, and low values making it difficult/impossible to hire. Additionally, skill should be set at hiring, with pay raises not increasing these, but pay cuts should cause employees to quit ( % set by the size of the cut)


You mean 7-19 (or 7am-2pm)

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Yep, IDK how I screwed that one up lol

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