Suddenly surrounded by heliports? How to configure airport criteria for aircraft

With X-Plane 11.02 the built-in GPS and FMS units for X-Plane 11 aircraft will also display heliports and seaplane bases. While this change is obviously needed badly for the helicopter flying community, improperly configured fixed-wing aircraft might suddenly feel themselves confronted with unsuitable options in the nearest airport selection pages and on the moving map.

Filter criteria

Every X-Plane aircraft has three parameters for airport and runway filtering that can be used to configure the moving map. These settings have existed for a long time, influenced which airports were displayed on the moving map, and kind of worked with the X-Plane 10 GPS as well. X-Plane 11 completely broke those settings for airplanes using the new X430/530 GPS, and not all aircraft authors go through the trouble of setting them up correctly.

X-Plane 11.02 correctly filters airports for GPS and FMS use as well as for the moving map based on these parameters. Because the GPS now also displays heliports and seaplane bases, it is important to set these filter parameters correctly in Plane Maker, to prevent unecessary clutter on the map.

The three settings are:

  1. Only Airports on Map - If not checked, the GPS and moving maps will show helipads and seaports. Check when you do not want those to show up in the nearest airport list on the GPS
  2. Only Paved Runways on Map - If not checked, the GPS and moving maps will show airports with no solid runways like grass, gravel and water surfaces
  3. Minimum Runway Length to Show on Map - This will filter out airports where the longest runway is shorter than this distance

Note that the these settings work on a per-airport basis. That means:

  • At an airport with both runways and helipads, the helipads will still be shown regardless of setting.
  • At an airport with both paved and grass or water runways, both runways will still be shown.
  • In other words, airports are filtered out if they ONLY have helipads, or ONLY soft runways
  • For seaplanes, leave the "Only Airports" box unchecked but enter a runway length number in order to supress the heliports.

If you already set these parameters in the past and they worked in X-Plane 10, there's nothing for you to do. If you never bothered to set them, and suddenly see places inappropriate for landing show up in your built-in GPS, that is why.


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About Philipp Ringler

Flight instructor on sunny days, software developer on rainy days. Drinks Darjeeling while beating FAA database anomalies into submission.
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9 Responses to Suddenly surrounded by heliports? How to configure airport criteria for aircraft

  1. Christer Hellholm says:

    Minimum Runway Length to Show on Map - This will filter out airports where the longest runway is shorter than this distance

    I guess you mean the opposite:
    Minimum Runway Length to Show on Map - This will filter out airports where the shortest runway is equal or longer than this distance.

    OR

    Maximum Runway Length to Show on Map - This will filter out airports where the longest runway is equal or shorter than this distance.

    • No, it means exactly that: The minimum runway length required for this aircraft so it can take off or land there. Anything that is shorter than the minimum distance required will be filtered out and not shown, neither on the moving map, nor in the nearest airports list.

      • Christer Hellholm says:

        I didn't see the word "out" in filter out. I read that it will view that entered specs. I usually use the word exclude instead of filter out. Sorry… I was tired…

  2. Bob Marsh says:

    I tried to post a bug regarding a big change in throttle sensitivity in legacy aircraft with Rotax engines that occurs from XP10.51 to XP 11.xx. I sent it with an example AC for testing. The submission seemed the same as many filings before, but I received no accept notice, and the submission form was reset to blank after an apparent upload.
    Does this constitute the usual indication of a rejection? I spent some considerable effort that was lost in the attempt.

    • Ben Supnik says:

      Quite possibly - if you didn't see the acknowledge page it's very likely something went wrong. The most likely thing is the attachments were too big - if you have drop box hosting or some other online drive, a link might be better than attaching everything.

  3. Ulrich says:

    On "per-airport basis": Could the runways (helipads) use different colors for the "unsuitable" items in the map (GPS, FMS,etc.), maybe?

  4. Guilherme says:

    Hello,

    Is it possible to turn off the annoying helipad lights that keeps flashing when flying (specially at night) over populated cities with fixed wing aircraft?

  5. Jim Elder says:

    Where do we find these settings in Plane Maker?

Comments are closed.