[GUIDE] How to set up taxiways and parking so the ATC and AI use them correctly

One of the main reasons I got into airport creation with the SDK was that my local airport didn’t have the correct taxiway structure so the ATC couldn’t give you correct taxiway clearances with directions. It’s not the clearest how to do this with the tools in the scenery editor so I hope this tutorial can be of use for others who were having issues too.

After following this tutorial you should be able to set up the runway and taxiway structure so AI can properly use your handcrafted airports!

SDK Tutorial #3: How to add taxiways, aprons and parking

I plan to create more tutorials covering all aspects of airport creation, and I’ll be adding those to the tutorial playlist . If there’s anything you would like to see in a future tutorial let me know!


Quick question. Are taxiways a requirement for parking spots to function? So far, I’m exclusively creating grass bush strips, and really just want parking so there’s an option to start cold & dark. Should I just use the runway as taxiway?

You don’t need to connect up taxiways for players to be able to spawn at parking spots, they function fine as spawn points just being placed. And if you are at a non-towered airport anyway you won’t be having issues with ATC not being able to give correct directions.

As for AI planes being able to take off, I can’t comment on that. I haven’t messed around with any little grass strips yet.

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Thanks. I had placed some near the runway and they didn’t work, but maybe I did something else wrong. I’ll give it another shot tonight. Great video series by the way. I hope you stick with it.

Thanks a lot, just what I was looking for. I was getting very irritated with trying to set the taxiways and paths/ parking up to get ATC working.

Do we always set the taxiway runway path to one runway number all the way from one end to the other? Which number to use?

How do i get ATC to instruct me to use the other runway? On my airport they always instruct the same runway for takeoff despite me changing the wind strength and direction to make the other runway the active one.

Cheers for the help.

To be honest I’m not really sure whether setting the runway taxi path number actually makes any difference. I’ve just been setting it at the number of the primary end of the runway (the one that shows up in the scenery editor).

ATC should always instruct you to take off into (or near enough into) the wind. Make sure you are changing both the wind and gusts, and make sure it’s actually set when you load into the sim by looking at the weather panel in game. I just checked this at my airport and the runway ATC used changed with wind direction.

OK, there is something in my set up then that is causing this. I need to set it up to your advice on the video first, then test again. Another thing I noticed is that the runway I am continually given to take off from is the secondary one. When I get the taxi ribbon displayed to it, the beacon shows the number of the primary end at the end of the ribbon despite the fact that this is the secondary side.

The fact your taxi ribbon is pointing to the wrong end of the runway suggests you might have a broken junction somewhere, I’d double check places where your taxiways join together to make sure you didn’t accidentally leave any gaps.

Ok, i adjusted everything to your video. I can now get taxi instructions OK and i get an option to taxi to parking when landing. That’s a great move forward, thanks again.
I found that I had my runway start points round the wrong way, that accounts for the beacon being wrong.However I still can’t get a takeoff from the primary runway despite all the wind etc being right. Not sure what this is.
I set one parking spot to a gate and put a sim object of stairs to link with it. I was expecting the stairs to attach to the plane similar to a jetway but they don’t?

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Hello friend, fantastic work with tutorials, I am following them and help me a lot with my current work, which if progresses I hope to make available to everyone. I wish I could better understand their language, but I’m barely able and I can’t find information on how to add ATC to the airports created out of the blue, as in my case of LELC Murcia-San Javier airport, which is a military airport that was open to civilian traffic until 2019, therefore it is not in the game and is practically nonexistent in the bing satellite image… but I managed to create this… Could you do a tutorial to add the ATC to these airports with no basis in the game?

Thank you, I’m glad they are useful. Flying Theston has a tutorial here which shows how to add an airport which doesn’t exist in the base game. Maybe that is helpful?


Thank you very much friend! That’s exactly what I needed, the test of fire was to ask for filming to ground control and see how the game crashed hahaha xD, that is that it works…

So I found out that the airstairs do connect with the plane but very soon disconnect and drive away, unlike the jetways which stay connected until the pilot is ready. So this is a bug. (Reported).
Still can’t get the ATC to instruct to take off from my primary side runway. Have deletedthe runway and started again but still doesn’t. Will continue to look into it.

I’ve been experimenting more with gates vs parking and I think you should only use gates if you are making a jetway. If you use a large parking you will get boarding stairs spawning in there with an airliner automatically.

I’d planned to make a video showing how to set up jetways so I’ll highlight the correction in that tutorial :slight_smile:

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I was able to successfully implement parking in my bush strips without any need for taxiways, which is great. Now, I have a new challenge though. It seems that creating parking causes the AI to spawn NPC’s and even airport vehicles in some cases. They will sometimes have pushback carts even though I have NONE selected for that option. Do you know of a way to disable these things? They obviously don’t look natural on a bush strip.

Check my post here: How do I remove ground crew?

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Exactly what I needed. Reading through that now.

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Even if you do not have paved taxiways, such as for a small airport, you need to lay down a taxiway and change the type to “path“ and turn off visibility.

AI aircraft or vehicles must have a drawn path. They do not go anywhere that isn’t drawn as a taxiway/path. You can use the “path” just as you do for taxiways. This will also give you the blue arrows to guide you to your parking spot.

Nah, I don’t need taxiways for bush strips. There is no tower, and thus no “taxi instructions”, and no AI traffic to be concerned with.

That’s fair. I was presenting info for others that wanted AI traffic to be able to come and go.