Airport Madness 3D Gets Another Update

As promised, I’ve added a sixth airport to Airport Madness 3D.  It is Castlegar, BC with an aerial firefighting theme.  You are not just moving passenger aircraft, but firefighting aircraft as well.  The city is being consumed by an out-of-control forest fire that is invading from the west.  After the first few frustrating attempts at dealing with the problem, you will learn that the passenger traffic must wait.  That’s right, those passengers can sit there and rot, until the forest fire gets under control.


Whenever I come up with an idea for an airport, I have no idea if the airport will be any fun at all.  After almost 10 years of building Airport Madness, and more than 20 years as a real-world air traffic controller, I understand that crossing runways make an airport fun, but that’s not always the rule.  One of the most interesting and heavily played Airport Madness airports is Funchal Airport.  It’s only got one runway, but it has a nasty runway backtrack for every takeoff and landing, which makes the airport insanely complicated.  When I chose to build Castlegar, I was in love with the concept of building a mountainous airport, dedicated to firefighting.  I didn’t think adding a forest fire would add complexity.  It did greatly.

I’ve logged about 30 hours now at Castlegar, and what I’ve learned is that traffic must be moved in groups.  You’ve got firefighters, and you’ve got passenger traffic.   The firefighters need absolute priority.  They should never wait in a takeoff lineup behind a bunch of 737’s.  The passenger traffic should always be #2.  After you clear all firefighters for takeoff, you then get rid of all passenger traffic.  As the fire tankers return to the airport to reload, the passenger traffic gets shut down again.  Playing in this manner generates a great deal of negativity, which can be read from the angry passenger tweets and high Stress-o-Meter reading.  But who cares?  At Castlegar, you’re in the firefighting business, not the get-everyone-to-like-me business.


Generally, I suck at my own games.  Isn’t that sad?  However, I do hold one of the higher scores at Castlegar airport, and I have my real-world ATC experience to thank for that.  The ability to say “no” to pilots is a skill that can often save an airport from calamity.  After overdosing on the Castlegar level of Airport Madness 3D, I decided to go back and try some earlier levels.  I noticed something very interesting.  Each airport has its very own “ideal traffic pattern”.

Take Rocky Mountain, for example.  This morning I ordered myself a grande triple-shot latté, put my earphones on and blasted Metallica into my ears, then fired up the Rocky Mountain – Building Traffic challenge.  After about 30 relatively peaceful minutes, the airport became unmanageable.  At Rocky, the gates don’t clear quickly and therefore a controller must push themselves to be hyper efficient.  Arrivals were backed up all the way to the runway, and I had to start pulling up subsequent arrivals.  I thought to myself, what would I do in real life?  Immediately I began forcing all arrivals to use 30L.  All departures got sent to 30R.  It made for two very ugly long lineups of traffic, but it was absolutely the most efficient way to pump traffic.  The two runways are completely independent of one another.  A crossing runway operation becomes ridiculous at a certain point.  As soon as you realize that pilots don’t have to land on their runway of choice, the situation becomes easier.


The next Airport Madness 3D update will add Los Angeles International, hopefully releasing at the beginning of February 2017.  As I sit here typing, I’m asking myself, “am I really going to build LAX?  Will it even be a fun airport?”  I really think it will be.  It has four parallel runways, two dedicated to arrivals and the other two for departures.


Look for updates in the coming weeks right here!

8 thoughts on “Airport Madness 3D Gets Another Update

  1. Rini Timmermans

    Beiing a retired Dutch Navy ATC guy I must say that I like your games very much.

    Played it for many hours now. and Ilike the latest update very much ( TS is my handle in the score list)

    Did you play the Vancouver arena lately?
    When you intoduced Castelguard with the increased CL21 speed its almost impossible to play this scenario. Also when you speed the CL21 up to its max. then it acts rather strange.

    Oh and btw this is the only FA27 I could find:

    It is also not listed in the ICAO aircraft type designator list:


    1. admin Post author

      I’ll take a look – I might have to fix the CL21 speed at Vancouver. As for FA27, I’m really not sure where I came up with that. I did a Google search, and I’m seeing the name “F27” mostly, with just a few FA27 references to my aircraft. I’ll do some homework.

  2. Fred S.

    After I play Castelguard and I click on submit scores it will not let me submit scores
    and my scores are not saved on my game.

  3. Vince

    Love the Castlegar map. I did figure out that the FF Planes get priority over the civilian planes. I love your games and LAX will be a blast to play when you bring it in. Still my fav airport from the original 4 is LaGuardia. Was one of the 2 big airports near me when I lived in NY and loved watching the planes come in and out of both it and especially JFK when I worked there.

    Keep up the great work and I will keep buying your games.

  4. Chris

    I assume you mean the Fokker (or Fairchild) F.27 with FA27 😉

    Also, your Airbus A320 looks like an Airbus A300 😉
    Just rename and you are fine.


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