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Welcome at Chios Island National Airport

Introduction

Information from the X-Plane.org site, Wikipedia, International Publications (Greek Travel Pages) and the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority explains that Chios Island National Airport “Omiros” is located in the area of Kontari at the south end of Chios town itself, and only 2 miles from the town centre. It began operations on August 4th 1969 and today covers mainly domestic flights, although international flights operate during the summer.

Operating hours are usually 06.00 hrs to 20.00hrs. The airport has one terminal and a fire fighting station. The elevation above mean sea level of the airport is 15ft/5m. The runway 01/19 has a length of 4957ft/1511m and has an asphalt surface. 2016 figures state the airport dealt with 191611 domestic passenger movements and 4519 international movements with 4404 passenger aircraft movements and 222 freight movements.

Scheduled flights to and from Chios serve Athens, Thessaloniki, Rhodes, Mytilene, Samos and Limnos. Non scheduled flights serve Amsterdam, Vienna, Brussels, Prague and Oslo. Operators using the airport include Astra Airlines, Aegean Airlines/Olympic Air and Sky Express. There is a air club based at the venue.

Communications:
– Tower 122.7
– Approach 124.0

Navaids:
– VOR-DME: ID: MES Name: MESTA Channel:123X Freq: 117.6
– Distance from field: 12.4Nm at a bearing of 60.8
– NDB: ID: HIO Name: CHIOS Freq: 299 Situated on the airport

Download and Documentation

The requirements for this add-on scenery are:
– X-Plane 11
– Windows, Mac or Linux
– 4Gb+ VRAM recommended
– Current version: 1.0 (July 2nd 2018)
– Download Size: 2.63Gb on disk

Download speeds will vary with internet connection but the download process is straight forward. There is no documentation and the downloaded folder should be copied in to the X-Plane Custom Scenery folder. This is the usual process for scenery downloads and worked well. I loaded a flight starting at the airport using the default C172.

All seemed to be well with a good view of a detailed runway out of the cockpit window. I wanted to explore the scenery further so switched to an external view and immediately X-Plane shut down. I repeated the process and found that once loaded whatever action I took caused X-Plane to shut down immediately. This was going to create a challenge in reviewing the airport!

After consultation with colleagues I loaded a clean version of X-Plane and found the airport worked immediately. I rebuilt X-Plane slowly adding scenery and eventually established a conflict with the JarDesign Follow Me Car plug in. All worked perfectly until this was loaded after which X-Plane did not work with the Chios airport scenery but did with all others. I do not mention this as a criticism of either the airport scenery or the plug-in, indeed I am always amazed at how the whole X-Plane environment integrates together, but to help others who may experience the same issue and prevent them from going through a long process to identify the problem.

Once I had resolved this issue the airport worked very well indeed and looked very good.

Scenery Impression And Airport Detail

What better way to review an airport than to fly in to it via the Greek Islands. One of the advantages of reviewing is that you are invited to visit places you would not automatically choose yourself and it was great to fly in an area I had not visited and enjoy the basic X-Plane scenery before experiencing the enhancements provided by the Chios scenery package.

Flying in to the airport from the South its proximity to the sea is clear and moving closer the detail of the scenery increases where the scenery pack becomes involved. Vegetation becomes much clearer and more defined and the buildings take sharp form. All colours, light and reflections are of a high quality and the flight in to the airport is very enjoyable.

On the first approach I overflew the area to see the airport from the air from different points of view. The runway itself is very detailed and a first look at the buildings shows a large variety of building types and uses. The scenery package provides detail of the surrounding area and this is increasingly evident when flying over the town of Chios itself. The buildings are extensive and varied and the colours for both natural and man made structures are very realistic.

The vegetation has the texture and effect to reflect the climate in this part of the world. Flying out over the sea the water maintains its integrity and contrasts very well with the land based scenery. Vehicles move around the whole of the area adding to the immersive experience.

Approaching the airport from the north shows similar detail on the airport itself and in the surrounding countryside. Clearly time to land and explore the airport further. I approached and landed on runway 19, watching moving traffic disappear under my flight path, and passing down the road between the perimeter fence and the sea before taxiing to a halt in the aircraft parking area.

Having parked the aircraft I could take a ‘walk’ around the airport, using a bit of licence with my ability to ‘levitate’ for a better view with the view options provided in X-Plane. A good look around from the parking apron gave a good first impression with detail in every direction both within and without the airport itself.

The buildings looked detailed and clear with colours and textures complimenting the attention to detail of signage and varied equipment. Light and shadow worked well across the whole of the scenery and different surfaces were represented separately.

I decided to start my tour on foot at the north end of the path on the inside of the perimeter fence. At ground level, and close up, vegetation was even more realistic and light and shadow again worked well. Traffic moved along the outside road smoothly, clearly and in good detail and colours were realistic and of the right tone. The on airport NDB is clearly modelled at this end of the field.

Moving along the path towards the main part of the buildings and public access it is clear that the developers have not taken an easy option in their modelling and have included clumps of vegetation in less travelled areas of the hard surfaces of the airport rather than simply providing a block colour and texture.

Moving south down the path and looking north east, out to sea, again shows the attention to detail shown in the model with buildings and activities beyond the perimeter fence showing great variety and realism and not just generic representations. Different businesses are created with appropriate and convincing equipment and goods.

The model sits very well in the default scenery and colours and tones blend well with distant hills and water. The position and strength of shadows are convincing enough to know the visit is taking place on a warm day. Turning to look to the south east the airport environment becomes more populated with airport related activity and buildings. These buildings are as impressive when viewed closely and in more detail as when viewed from the air.

As the airport is more populated in this area more vehicles are present and remain varied in their style and colours. Airfield equipment is clearly modelled. Views beyond the airport remain clear and detailed with more vehicles parked outside the airport entrance and on the public road outside. Looking south west again shows that the less used surfaces and buildings across the airport have been modelled in the correct nature and detail. Moving slightly further south the airport helipad is modelled with a helicopter in place and appropriate equipment nearby

The airport is listed as having a fire fighting building and this is modelled near the centre point of the run way and vehicles for fire, ambulance and police are represented. Again there is great attention to detail as the metal work shows signs of wear and tear and the ladder shows marks where it would have been used. Paint and colour is modelled to show a busy building in use and where doors are open the interior is modelled convincingly also. A first real view of the tower is visible behind the building.

Looking directly behind the fire station the airside fencing is modelled leading to the public car park with clearly marked parking bays, a variety of vehicles and clearly marked entrance and exit. Signs, lights and even a bus stop are modelled in this area. The departure and arrivals entrances logically stand next to the car park and these are clearly modelled with appropriate signage and directions.

Road markings in the car park, including a pedestrian crossing, are clear and sharp. The control tower sits on top of the main terminal building. This roof area contains ventilation and equipment to service the terminal below and the control tower itself is realistically modelled as a utilitarian building with appropriate wear and tear, aerials and lighting. Views beyond the airport still show other activity going on in the area.

Continuing my tour back past my aircraft the realism continues with lighting, road furniture, telegraph poles and vehicles in place as expected. Further airport activity is represented with the refuelling area, duly screened from other activity by clearly modelled barriers. This refuelling area also contains a search and rescue helipad and other equipment such as passenger aircraft steps and luggage trollies. A very realistic aircraft support area with large amounts of airport kit appropriately represented. This adds to the impression of activity and busyness created by the model.

Moving further south through the airport a builders merchants yard is modelled with hoppers, aggregate and building blocks in the premises, again all modelled in detail with realistic colours textures and shadow. Beyond this other business premises extend along the perimeter of the airport outside the airside fence. When moving up close to these premises the goods and equipment are all modelled in detail as are buildings and vehicles.

This is true for all aspects of the model with the same attention to detail shown for objects and items not positioned in places where they would obviously be expected to be examined closely. A final higher aspect view of the south end of the airport shows that the clarity and detail of the run way surface is still present with crisp precise markings and convincing weathering and wear and tear.

Looking in to the distance beyond the airport the vegetation, buildings and roads all stand close scrutiny and their colours and textures add to the authenticity of the whole scenery package. Just remains for me to stroll back to the aircraft and to soak in the atmosphere the developers have created.

Airport After Dusk

One of the issues highlighted on the X-Plane.org page for the airport is the provision of 3D night lighting and custom runway lights and so I felt I should visit the airport after dusk to assess the quality of the aforementioned lighting. At dusk approaching the airport from the south the runway lights are clear, bright and realistic and the modelled natural light not only sets off the runway lighting but also shows a different aspect to the vegetation and buildings, all of which appear in convincing colours and textures.

Approaching from the same direction once darkness has fallen lighting across the scenery is convincing with the airport standing out clearly in the distance. Lining up with the runway from the south the lighting remains clear and detailed and not only highlights the runway but interacts extremely well with all aspects of the scenery and creates an immersive experience.

Approaching the airport in the dark from the north the lighting not only illuminates the runway and airport but adds the effect of the town of Chios at night. Viewing Chios with a little more natural light shows some lighting and the houses and buildings modelled to a high standard with convincing light, shadow and reflections. Vehicles can be seen at this light level and each has its own modelled lights making the movement through the scenery highly realistic.

Once landed and walking through the airport the standard of lighting certainly does not disappoint. Buildings are lit to the right level and street lights add to the effect. Lights on the control tower are brighter than those elsewhere and the back ground lighting in buildings off the airport is also modelled to a high standard.

Looking across the airport this standard of lighting effect exists and interacts throughout the scenery package. The airport really does look impressive at around dusk with the natural light of the setting sun reflecting off buildings giving a red/orange hue whilst augmented by the modelled artificial lights. Again this standard is maintained through out the whole area of scenery and the activity and movement of vehicles continues around the airport.

Colours and textures interact convincingly with the lighting effects with shadows and reflections adding to the sense of realism and the runway lights remain clear and bright throughout.

The areas noted on the day time walk through, such as the helipad, each have their own lighting when viewed closely and moving on to darkness the model continues to impress when viewed at close quarters. The car park is clearly lit with the vehicles colour and textures reacting to the effect and the arrivals and departures area looks very good fully lit. Looking out to the south across the airport after dark the street lights, vehicle lights and aircraft lights all look very clear and bright.

Lights of buildings beyond the airport look impressive and the lighting does not hide the stars in the background. Having toured the airport after dusk both from the air and on the ground the lighting quality in the model, whether the use of natural light or the modelled artificial light, is highly impressive and the attention given to this by the developers really does add atmosphere to the whole area.

Conclusion

I have not been to Chios National Airport but after my flight and tour I could easily be convinced I know it. Initially a single runway, regional airport may appear to be too small to carry a large amount of detail. This model shows this is truly not the case and the amount of detail and extra objects added by the developers draw the user in to a thoroughly enjoyable and convincing experience. The model fits in to the generic scenery very well and it is the items the developers have chosen to model that immerse the visitor in the whole experience.

Colours, textures and detail remain convincing throughout all areas of the model and actually create an atmosphere within the scenery. Once time has moved on to dusk it would be easy to reduce the quality of the modelling due to low light but in this case the atmosphere created during the day gives way to an impressive use of both modelled natural and artificial light which further increases the enjoyment and use of the scenery package.

Travelling around the Greek Islands always promised to be a great scenery experience but this airport scenery really does add to it and the level of detail tempts the user back because with this activity going on I am sure there are things I missed which need several return visits. A scenery package with the quality to create enjoyment when viewed from the air, used for aircraft movements or explored at closer quarters.

More information about this add-on scenery can be found at the dedicated X-Plane.Org web page.

Feel free to contact me if you’ve got additional questions related to this impression. You can reach me via email Angelique.van.Campen@gmail.com or to Angelique@X-Plained.com.

With Greetings,
Andy Clarke

 

 

Add-on: Payware Descent2View Chios Island National Airport
Publisher | Developer: X-Plane.Org
Description: Realistic rendition of Chios Island National Airport (LGHI)
Software Source / Size: Download / Approximately 2.63GB (unzipped)
Reviewed by: Andy Clarke
Published: August 5th 2018
Hardware specifications: - iMac Intel i5 27"
- 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5
- AMD Radeon R9 M290X 2048 MB
- 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM
- Logitech Force 3D Pro
Software specifications: - macOS High Sierra 10.13.6
- X-Plane 11.25 (64 Bit) Private Use
- A variety of freeware and payware airports

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