Stand Sizes, Classification and Upgrades

Anyway, having had a think about this, and a quick post here (POLL: Help pick the next aircraft in Airport CEO! - #47 by PigScroll), I decided to talk about the present and the future of stands in Airport CEO. So here are my propositions.
And as of almost a year later, the updated idea can be found…

Original Post
Resizing the Small Stand

So, as @Henry747 said:
“Maybe we need a slightly bigger, less expensive stand for the little fellas… :wink: Even the 208 struggles to fit in the small stand now… :grin:

And this is a good point. At this size, anything of a size slightly bigger than the DHC6 will not fit. Therefore, the implementation of aircraft such as the Saab 340 will be medium, as opposed to small. And that is crazy, as the Saab 340 holds 37 passengers, max.
So, as @Henry747 proposed, a resize would allow aircraft such as the S340 to park on a small stand, not a medium stand. This would look more natural…


  • 30 to 50 seat aircraft would fit in better
  • Larger GA jets could be implemented


  • Current small and GA aircraft would be dwarfed
  • The stand would have to remodelled…again
A New Stand Size...

What would you call a stand between small and medium? “Smedium” maybe??? :grinning:
single word requests - What would you call size that fits between small and medium? - English Language & Usage Stack Exchange

But yes, implementing a “sub-medium” stand would allow 30 - 65 seat aircraft to park comfortably. Examples of these would be:

  • ATR42
  • Saab 340
  • Saab 2000
  • Q200
  • Q300

This would save them too big on a small stand, and too small on a medium stand…
And there could be some overlaps as well:
SMALL: <35 seats
SUB-MEDIUM: 30 - 65 seats
MEDIUM: 60 - 200 seats
This would allow a Dornier 328 to be on a small or “smedium” stand.


  • 30 to 65 seat aircraft would have their own, better, more suited parking
  • Some aircraft could park on 2 different types of stand


  • Would require a lot of work from the devs
  • There are hardly any good names for this new stand!
...or maybe two or three!

So, if we have one new stand type, what’s stopping more? So let’s assess various new ideas:

  1. SMALL / <35 seats / (already implemented, could be renamed to “very small” if “smedium” is implemented)
  2. SUB-MEDIUM / 30 - 65 seats / (idea, without airbridge)
  3. MEDIUM WITH AIRBRIDGE / 80 - 200 seats / (already implemented)
  4. MEDIUM WITHOUT AIRBRIDGE / 60 - 200 seats / (has been discussed, will be implemented as a remote stand)
  5. LARGER THAN MEDIUM / 150 - 300 seats / (with airbridge, maybe for the 757/767?)


  • Lots of stand types
  • Lots of player choice as to which stands they build
  • More stands to fit in different places
  • Lots of aircraft/stand type overlap


  • A lot of work for the devs
  • Will create a lot of bugs
Aircraft Examples on These Stands
  1. SMALL: Small GA, Cessnas, DHC6s, Small Props and Turboprops (<35 seats)
  2. SUB-MEDIUM: Large GA, Saabs, Q1/2/300s, Dornier 328, CRJ1/200s, ATR 42s, Medium Props and Turboprops (30 - 65 seats)
  3. MEDIUM WITH AIRBRIDGE: CRJ7/9/1000s, BAe146s, A320 Family, 737 Family, Fokker 70/100s, 757-200s (80 - 225 seats)
  4. MEDIUM WITHOUT AIRBRIDGE: ATR42/72s, CRJs, BAe146s, A320 Family, 737 Family (60 - 200 seats)
  5. LARGER THAN MEDIUM: A320 Family, 737 Family, 757 Family, 767 Family

So, if you read through all of that, let me know what you think! And I don’t blame you if you didn’t… :grinning:

And feel free to post anything to do with stands on this new thread…(non-bug related, of course) :slight_smile:

So, going off the FAA regulations:

FAA Regulations

Category A - <15m wingspan - e.g. Cessna 182, Baron 58

Category B - <24m wingspan - e.g. DHC-6, Saab 340

Category C - <36m wingspan - e.g. B737, A320

Category D - <52m wingspan - e.g. B767

Category E - <65m wingspan - e.g. B777/A330

Category F - <80m wingspan - e.g. B747/A380

There are 6 different classes of aircraft, so perhaps we could have 6 types of stand…Note that all of the costs and features are just suggestions…

Stand Class A (Small)

SIZE: 4x4 Tiles (+2x4 Service Road)
COST: $15 000 (Grass), $45 000 (Asphalt/Concrete)
USES: General Aviation, Class A aircraft
COMES WITH: Service Road, Road Crossing, Taxi-in-taxi-out Style

  • Grass > Asphalt/Concrete - $35 000
Stand Class B (Sub-Medium)

SIZE: 6x6 Tiles (+2x6 Service Road)
COST: $20 000 (Grass), $60 000 (Asphalt/Concrete)
USES: General Aviation, Class A and B aircraft
COMES WITH: Service Road, Road Crossing, Taxi-in-push-out Style

  • Grass > Asphalt/Concrete - $45 000
Stand Class C (Medium)

SIZE: 8x10 Tiles (+2x10 Service Road)
COST: $100 000
USES: Class B and C aircraft
COMES WITH: Service Road, Road Crossing, Taxi-in-push-out Style

  • None > Normal Jetbridge - $10 000
    (Current Medium Stand)
Stand Class D (Sub-Large)

SIZE: 10x12 Tiles (+2x12 Service Road)
COST: $160 000
USES: Class C and D aircraft
COMES WITH: Service Road, Road Crossing, Taxi-in-push-out Style

  • None > 1 Normal Jetbridge - $10 000
  • 1 Normal Jetbridge > 2 Normal Jetbridges - $10 000
    (Largest Stand Needed At The Moment)
Stand Class E (Large)

SIZE: 12x14 Tiles (+2x14 Service Road)
COST: $220 000
USES: Class C, D and E aircraft
COMES WITH: Service Road, Road Crossing, Taxi-in-push-out Style, 1 Jetbridge

  • 1 Normal Jetbridge > 2 Normal Jetbridges - $10 000
Stand Class F (Very Large)

SIZE: 13x15 Tiles (+2x15 Service Road)
COST: $250 000
USES: Class D, E and F aircraft
COMES WITH: Service Road, Road Crossing, Taxi-in-push-out Style, 1 Jetbridge

  • 1 Normal Jetbridge > 2 Normal Jetbridges - $10 000

I think it would be good to keep the small stand but split up the medium stand so there’s one larger and one smaller. (Having an atr 72 and a320 in the same gate seems a bit odd).


I would maybe do this:

  1. Small GA stand -small GA planes, 1-6 seats

  2. Big GA stand -bigger GA planes, private jets (when they come)

  3. Smedium stand -bus boarding only, Saab 340, Q400 and everything in between +Bae 146, CRJs, ERJs

  4. Medium with jetbridge -A320family, 737s, Cseries, EMBs (maybe 757?)

  5. Medium without jetbridge -same as those above

  6. Whatever larger -larger planes, maybe later


IMHO, I personally think we only need one size to bridge small and medium.

That being said, I think the current stand size would work, if medium starts without jetbridges. Then, we should just resize small stands to something a little bit bigger.


I don’t see a need for discussion about box sizes, the size groups in FAA-compliant airports can be found easily through Google.

For planning purposes at airports, aircraft are placed into design groups ranging from Group I through Group VI. The wingspan of the aircraft will determine which group an aircraft is placed.

  • Group I: up to and including 49 feet
    (Small jets-Learjet)
  • Group II: 49 feet up to but not including 79 feet
    (Regional Jets- later models are growing in size)
  • Group III: 79 feet up to but not including 118 feet
    (DC-9, B-737, A-320)
  • Group IV: 118 feet up to but not including 171 feet.
    (B-757, B767, DC-10)
  • Group V: 171 feet up to but not including 214 feet
    (B-777, B-747)
  • Group VI: 214 up to but not including 262 feet
    ( NLA, A-380)

and further down the page:

All the reference material you need to design an airport to FAA specifications are here: [BrokenLink]
You are looking for Advisory Circular AC150/5300-13 titled “Airport Design” (about halfway down the whole webpage)

Updated link to AC150/5300-13 for your convenience:
By the way, the ADGs from the fiirst quote are in that document on page 14.

That being said, we can always discuss how big (in tiles) to design the stands for a certain box size, and whether non-rectangular stands may be interesting, and whether there may be two different stands for a certain size (at least the ADG III box may be interesting in a gangway version as well).


I like the idea of upgrading stands. If stands arrive without a jetbridge, then you upgrade similar to concrete and asphalt. However, I deffinately aggree with the a smedium stand. We need something a little different. Just to fill the gap. :grinning:

1 Like

Hmm, translating FAA’s classification in-game, this means
Group I: Small stand as it is (minus the Twin Otter, since the wingspan is too large)
Group II: This is what’s currently missing, yet what I wonder is how many aircrafts fit this category. I found the Twin Otter and CRJ700 to fit this category. F-70, Embraer E-series, and ATRs/Saab to be too large. I suppose, if you stretch this to roughly 80/90 feet, it could fit a lot more regionals and all the propellers, leaving
Group III - IV: This is probably equivalent to the medium-size stand in-game.
Group V - VI: Probably Large stand will be for this class.

IMHO, it seems that if we take Group II and stretch it a little, we can fit most of the medium non-Boeing/Airbus aircrafts in there. Gameplay wise, this would add variety to the game, especially if you’re moving from cheap to small contracts, since most of the planes that is non-Boeing/Airbus is in the small contracts category.

Of course, this would mean an additional money sink into the game, which would upset some people. Now if only you can upgrade stands like you upgrade runway (Expand East/West or South/North so the sizes can slowly be upgraded)


I like that idea,

IMO we could also have stand options: where is the stand connection located? Mirror, side load, bus load (remote stand) or double bridge stand (after an upgrade? to load up plane faster, or if you unlock the “VIP services” procurement)

maybe the service road could move around too! (especially if you look up my image, we would need to be able to have the service road continue under the terminal, or being placed on a different side)

I did a quick mockup because why not. :slight_smile:


I don’t think that it would be too bad having the additional stand. Even if it costs $80-100k, it would allow you to build your airport. The way I play at the moment, is:

1: Build small stands, small terminal, but leave room for upgrades…
2: Buy shops and food upgrades… (These fund my airport)
3: Max out landing fees etc…
4: Remove small stands and build medium…

It just feels like the jump is a bit too big at the moment. A group II stand might be able to smooth out the process.


Yes! This is exactly what I’m talking about. Upgrade the stands piece by piece. Just like extending runways!


On principle, I agree with the ideas.

That being said, translating the four different sizes (which I will dub Small, Medium, Large (replacing in-game Medium), and Extra Large), I’d say jetbridges should be an available upgrade starting for Medium stands, and make it a must-have for Extra Large stands.

This would, in theory, double the amount of medium contracts available to you (some airlines require jetbridges, some don’t), since most of the aircrafts under medium contracts will probably go into the Large stand. This could also double the amount of small contracts available (without jetbridges, you’ll get ATRs, Saab, CRJ, etc., but with jetbridges you’ll also get E-series and F-70).

@Henry747 I don’t mind having the money sink as well. But requiring the stand to be demolished and rebuilt again to increase the size can be quite tedious, which is why I suggest having the stand be modular like the runway. So to make it simpler, it could be just “Expand Width” and “Expand Length”. This would make upgrading less tedious (you don’t need to shut down the airport just to increase the size).


Good Idea. I also have issues with demolishing the small stand. I think that is what makes the game feel a bit jumpy to me.

Here’s a great Idea though… What if stands were like rooms or zones.

  1. First you place the foundation as part of the taxiway (Concrete/Asphalt).
  2. You drag the stand to the size you want. (Maybe each stand has the same proportions to make sizing easy - Small 2x3, Medium 4x6, Large 8x12)
  3. You then upgrade your stand piece by piece (jet bridge), and if space allows, you can expand the size.

I’m not sure how practical this is, nor how easy it would be to implement, but in my mind it seems more realistic compared to real world.


It seems a good idea for upgrading stands, but I don’t think it can work, mostly due to the way I perceive service vehicles works (fixed “nodes” in stands as the destination, kinda like the security checkpoint).

Yeah, I didn’t think it would work. I have no clue about programming or coding. Oh well, I sure Fredrik and Olof can find some sort of way to make upgrading easier for us :slightly_smiling_face:

yes! this brings a lot of interesting possibilities for slow upgrading and expansion of the airport terminal: 'Having to meet the demands of more and more demanding airline companies.

Then by having several directions you also allow more flexibility in the airport layout too.

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I like this idea but have one issue. The mirrored stands was brought up previously and another user mentioned that all planes load on the left side so you can’t have jetways on the right. I was also one who wanted objects mirrored including stands but if that user is correct, having mirrored stands would not be prototypical.


Adding to what Thorozar said. Yes planes always load passengers on the left side. The right side is always reserved to service the aircraft. This dates back to the early days of aviation. While reasons for the practice have changed since then it still remains universal. A little bit of history on the topic for those who are unaware Why passanger board on the left.


To add to that, on many planes the right hand doors/service doors are apparently smaller so would potentially slow down (dis)embarkation. That’s probably developed from the convention, but it’s here to stay.

It’s a good convention that probably saves a lot of money in the industry.

WRT the rear door boarding in the above image - it’s possible but very impractical to achieve this with an airbridge. Amsterdam Schiphol does have rear door airbridges

Not my image

They look awful, apparently are a pain in the bum to maintain, and only work on a small subset of aircraft. They are an interesting feat of engineering, but there’s many good reasons why very few places have them, and there’s many good reasons why they’re apparently going to be removed. Apparently one in Denver crashed onto the wing of a 757 a few years ago.

My latest thoughts on stands:

  1. We need more varieties of stands
  2. Airbridges should be optional upgrades for Medium stands and above.
  3. Smaller planes should be able to go on bigger stands.

Some time ago, I shared the industry convention of aeroplane design codes, which are used to assign planes to stands. I think they’re still a valid way of doing things in the game. Element 2 of the code is a letter that relates to wingspan, and hence how big an aircraft can be on said stand. Obviously smaller aircraft can go on larger stand, but no vice versa.

Category A - <15m wingspan - e.g. Piper PA-31 - great for GA
Category B - <24m wingspan - e.g. DHC-6
Category C - <36m wingspan - e.g. B737/A320
Category D - <52m wingspan - e.g. B767
Category E - <65m wingspan - e.g. B777/A330
Category F - <80m wingspan - e.g. B747/A380

Actual stands are obviously a bit more nuanced than this, and doesn’t touch on the length of stand, but these six categories would give you six stand types that cover everything we would want and allow more flexibility whilst still mapping to the real world. If we do go to six stands, we’d need to allow smaller aircraft to use bigger stands though to improve operational flexibility. It needn’t be too burdensome - give each aircraft a code (e.g. B737, Code C) which is then displayed to the player. The player will then know they need a Code C or higher stand in order to accommodate the flight.


Okay, so if people disagree with flipping jetbridges, maybe we should look at implementing different types. The one in game at the moment is fairly basic. Maybe the possibility to upgrade to glass, or different designs would add variety.



Also, from what I’ve been reading, some small planes use airbriges that sit on the ground, especially in winter. I can’t find any photos though, however, This would make for an interesting gate, where service vehicles must access from the back due to an inability to get under the air bridge. :thinking:


As far as upgradeable drawn stands, this actually might not be that hard at all; the hardest part (the drawn taxiways) is already implemented; here’s how I see it working:

  1. Lay down taxiway foundation.
  2. Draw taxiways, and mark the terminating point as a “gate” much like we have the option for holding points.
    2.a At this point, either mark the node as whatever size gate you want and the game will enforce that there is sufficient room to be of that type, or
    2.b Draw a gate much like we draw any other zones. The game will then calculate whether you have enough room for whatever gate you want

Given the way they behave in-game, I strongly suspect service vehicles path-find to an “entrance node” to the gate area, and then drive to specific coordinates offset from that point. If the gates are actually drawable/upgradable, this doesn’t change; all you need to do is compute the entrance point, and then use fixed offsets from that point or from the taxiway termination to define where the service vehicles go to.