OGF:Where to fly

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So you've built an international airport for your big city, and you're looking for destinations. Here's what we recommend when deciding where to fly:

Step 1: How developed is your city?

Before even thinking about air travel destinations around the world, first ask yourself: how much has your city been mapped?

This city is basically just a label on the map Do more mapping first, before thinking about flights
Rough sketch, some highways and other roads Do more mapping first, before thinking about flights
Lightly developed, small areas of detail Continue to Step 2: add a few flights to major cities nearby
Moderately developed, significant areas of detail Continue to Step 2: add as many flights as appropriate
Highly developed, extensive areas of detail Continue to Step 2: add as many flights as appropriate

Step 2: Create a range map

If your city is developed enough to set up some flights, create a range map to find likely destinations.

User:Paxtar has put together an amazing tool here that can draw circles around your city showing the range of various types of aircraft. To create this map:

  • Where it says "Location 1," paste the URL link to the location of your airport. Click "Capture," and then click "Mark" directly below it to mark your airport location as a red dot on the map.
  • On the next line below "Mark," enter 3000 in the "Radius" box and click "Draw" to draw a red circle on the map.
  • Replace the 3000 with 6000, replace FF0000 next to it with FF8000, and click "Draw" again to draw an orange circle.
  • Replace the 6000 with 12000, replace the FF8000 next to it with FFC000, and click "Draw" again to draw a yellow circle.
  • Replace the 12000 with 15000, replace the FFC000 next to it with DDDDDD, and click "Draw" again to draw a gray circle.

Now take a look at your map:

——— The red circle (3000 km radius) represents the approximate limit for short haul flights. Small airports may be limited to short haul flights only; and even at larger airports, most destinations will typically be within this range. From the busiest airport in the real world, Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International, about 80% of destinations are short haul.

——— The orange circle (6000 km radius) represents the range for medium haul flights. From Atlanta, about 10% of destinations are medium-haul. These flights are usually between large cities or other important destinations.

——— The yellow circle (12000 km radius) represents the range for long haul flights. From Atlanta, about 10% of destinations are long-haul. These flights are usually between large cities, and require long runways as well.

——— The gray circle (15000 km radius) represents the limits of ultra long haul. These flights are rare and typically run only between major world hubs. From Atlanta, fewer than 1% of destinations are in this category. Most airports have no ultra long haul flights.

Step 3: Find destinations within the ranges on your map

Next, compare the range map you've created with the destinations map below. Remember that:

  • Most destinations are short haul, within the red circle; and smaller airports may be limited to this zone entirely.
  • Fewer destinations are medium haul (within the orange circle) or long haul (within the yellow circle), usually between large cities only.
  • Ultra long haul flights (within the gray circle) are very rare, only between major world hubs. Most airports have no such flights.
  • Beyond the ultra long haul area, direct flights are usually not feasible, but a layover can be arranged at a big hub airport somewhere.

Also, bear in mind:

  • Just because you could fly somewhere, doesn’t mean you should. Check the page "World Air Freedoms" to see if the country you are thinking of developing flights to imposes any limitations on this: some countries restrict flights to their national flag carrier, others are less restrictive.
  • Similar cultures, economies and politics will increase the likelihood of flights between two locations. Dissimilar destinations will have fewer flights.
  • Distance makes flights less likely, and additional flights to nearby cities even less likely. Example: London-NYC 30 daily flights. London-LAX 11 flights. London-San Diego 4. London-Pomona (Los Angeles area) 0.
  • Long-distance flights to small destinations are less frequent, and sometimes seasonable. More often a flight will go to a city along the way, or in the area, and a local airline will carry passengers to the final destination.
  • When looking at nearby destinations, there tend to be fewer flights if the cities are within convenient rail or driving distance.

Destinations Map

Loading map...

Step 4: Add your airport to this page

Once you're done, add your airport to the destinations map on this page so that future users can find it! Be sure to add only international airports, and only airports that have been mapped in detail. (Also, please do not add airports for Commonia or West Commonia at this time.) Here's how to add an airport to the map:

  • 1. Make a note of your airport's latitude and longitude.
  • 2. Scroll up to the destination map and click "Edit" at the right hand side (if you don't see "Edit," log into your wiki account).
  • 3. In the code, find the part where everything begins with marker, marker, marker. Copy and paste one of the lines.
  • 4. In the new line you just pasted:
    • Change the latitude and longitude to describe the location of your airport.
    • Change the city name. (Feel free to add a link to the city or airport wiki page.)
    • Change the description.
    • Change the icon as appropriate:
      • Use "emb-green-large.png" only for the very largest major world hub airports. (For this designation, the city served should be significantly mapped. Most countries will have no airports in this category, and never more than one except for special circumstances.)
      • Use "emb-green-medium.png" for significant large hubs.
      • Use "emb-green-small.png" for other international hubs.
      • If you want others to contact you before linking to your airport, replace "green" with "yellow."
  • 5. Use the "Show preview" button to make sure it shows up properly, then "Save page."

See also

OGF:Making realistic airports
List of airports
Assembly of Nations Agency for Civil Aviation
World Association of Air Transport