Game Instructions

Airport Madness 4 is about keeping airplanes from colliding into each other in the airport environment. We give you all of the tools necessary to do this. As in real life, you may find yourself saying "That wasn't my fault!". Many a real-world controller has uttered these words! The universe tends toward chaos. As an air traffic controller, you are the last line of defense against catastrophe.

Most collisions in Airport Madness 4 occur at the threshold, or beginning, of a runway. The usual error involves giving an aircraft permission onto the runway while another is landing. The second most common collision point is where runways cross each other. If you can master these two collision points, consider yourself an ace!

There are keyboard shortcuts for all commands. Everything can be done with keys 1 through 5 on your keyboard.


As in real life, arriving aircraft land themselves. No input is required from you. Sound too easy? Just because an aircraft can land itself does not necessarily mean that it can avoid hitting other aircraft. That is where you come in! Arriving aircraft can be seen early on your radar screen, before appearing in the airport environment. They are being fed to you by other air traffic controllers whose job is to put the planes on a path to one of your runways. It is not their job to ensure that no collisions occur upon arrival. That is your job, and you will often need to slow arrivals down, speed them up, assign new runways, and issue holding patterns to achieve this.

By clicking an aircraft, it's runway will be highlighted. It's control panel will also indicate which runway it is landing on. When an aircraft is clicked, note the flight info that appears over top of the radar screen.

Once an arrival has touched down, there is little you can really do to manage the aircraft, except instruct them to expedite off the runway. Once an arriving aircraft has exited the runway, it operates on an uncontrolled apron, where it taxiis all by itself to the nearest available gate.

SLOW: This command reduces an aircraft's speed by 20%.

FAST: This command increases an aircraft's speed by 25%.

GO AROUND: This command tells an aircraft to cancel it's landing, and climb straight ahead until you instruct it to do otherwise. The go around is a great move when an arriving aircraft is closing in on a slower aircraft attempting to takeoff. Cancel the go around by dragging the aircraft to any runway.

DIRECTIONAL CONTROL: This hidden feature is a terrific improvement over the previous version of the game. By clicking and dragging an aircraft, it will immediately cease it's current operation and fly straight in the direction it was dragged. This is a great way to build in space between arriving aircraft that are too close. You can also drag an aircraft to any runway, which makes the aircraft land.

RUNWAY CHANGE: Arrivals can be assigned to certain other runways, should the need arise. This is done by clicking the aircraft, then releasing over any runway threshold that highlights itself as available.


Once an aircraft has unloaded, refuelled and loaded, it will request taxi clearance. Again, the apron is uncontrolled, so there is no need to attempt separation in the parking area. When an aircraft requests taxi clearance, simply tell it to taxi. Your job is to separate planes that are on the runways and in the air, not on the parking aprons.

LINE UP: This tells an aircrat to taxi onto the runway, line up, but don't takeoff. A very useful intermediate step when attempting to time your departures accurately.

CLEARED IMMEDIATE TAKEOFF: Aircraft normally pause briefly on the runway prior to commencing a takeoff roll. An immediate takeoff eliminates the pause, and increases their initial acceleration. Use this feature when an arriving aircraft appears to be overtaking a departing aircraft.

HOLD SHORT: This instruction tells an aircraft not to taxi onto a runway. By default, aircraft will hold short. But should you change your mind after issuing a takeoff clearance, the hold short instruction is invaluable.

ABORT TAKEOFF: Tells an aircraft to cancel their takeoff roll and return to the apron.

Once an aircraft is airborne, it will navigate itself on course to their destination. Should the need arrise to vector a departure, you may allow them to exit in any direction without penalty.


Helicopters land themselves. By clicking on a helicopter, you will see the helipad become highlighted, which indicates that the helicopter is in the arrival mode. Keep helicopters from overflying other aircraft on the taxiways and runways by using the click-and-drag feature to steer the helicopter. When no further conflict exists, drag the helicopter to the helipad to put it back into arrival mode.


Prior to game start, you have the option of selecting a player profile. Each profile has a special advantage, such as the ability to assign a very high speed, for example. This profile selection is not permanent. It can be changed anytime you wish.


In order to unlock a level, you must move at least 100 aircraft in the previous level. During any particular level, you will permanently unlock features such as runways, helipads, and aircraft. These unlocks will apply only to the player profile that you created.

Your achievements can be viewed in two places: Your profile page and your trophy case. On your profile page you will see which of the six level you have completed. To "complete" a level, you must move at least 125 aircraft with a crash success rate of at least 98%.

In your trophy case you will see some level-specific star achievements, which must be earned during a single session. As well, there are achievements that can be earned accross all levels, and across multiple game plays.


This provides the player with a snapshot of how they are doing. The meter will gradually increase over time, but this progress is impeded by any delays that may be occurring, any crashes, go arounds, holds, or anything that might be a negative experience to a passenger.


Your rank increases as airplanes are moved. Currently, your rank is not affected by crashes. However, a 'knock-back' will be added to our program next week, which will demote a player for excessive crashes. The following ranks exist:

Nervous New Hire;
Licensed But Dangerous;
Safe Controller;
Experienced Controller;
Tin Pusher;
Power Controller;
Controlling Machine;

We hope that you enjoy Airport Madness 4. Please contact us with any suggestions, questions, or concerns at