Data Development Documentation

About The Default Data

X-Plane airport and navigation data provides global coverage for airports, runways, taxiways, airport surface markings and lighting, NDBs, VORs, ILSs, fixes (intersections), airways and astronomical data.

The airport data includes all runways, and also includes detailed taxiway layouts, lights and markings. If no custom taxiway details are available, then the database will automatically generate a parallel taxiway system alongside each main runway – these are unlikely to be correct, but they will enhance the appearance of ‘unimproved’ airports.

Maintaining this data is a collaborative effort

If you see errors or omissions in the data, file a bug report on the NAVAID tab of the Gateway bug reporter. All data must be obtained from publicly available, freely redistributable sources. We cannot accept data extracted from commercially distributed database.

Terms of use

The X-Plane data is published under the terms of the Free Software Foundation General Public License (GPL). In summary, our interpretation of this license is that “works” published under the protection of its terms may be redistributed and modified, provided that this GPL remains a part of that redistribution. Nothing prevents you charging for any redistributed or derivative work based upon this data … but the terms of the GPL do not prevent (and are designed to encourage) someone else from later amending and then redistributing your work (or a derivative), either as free-ware or as pay-ware, under the same GPL terms.

Tips & Tricks

FAQs for data designers2015-11-19 14:08:28Answers to more technical questions for airport and navigation data designers and scenery developers.
Resources for Data Designers2015-11-19 14:03:09This page contains resources to help designers create accurate and efficient airport and navigation data for X-Plane.

File Formats

Airport Data (apt.dat) 1050 File Format Specification2017-02-07 17:24:23This explains the legacy apt.dat file format for X-Plane version 10.50-10.52.
Airport Data (apt.dat) 850 Version2017-01-18 13:47:14This defines the legacy apt.dat format for X-Plane version 8.50.
Airport Data (apt.dat) 10.00 Version2017-01-18 13:29:37This document defines core airport data for X-Plane 10.00.
Navdata in X-Plane 112016-10-09 13:03:18This document explains the new Nav data format for X-Plane 11.
Airport data (apt.dat) 715 version2015-11-19 15:40:25This defines the legacy apt.dat format for X-Plane version 7.15 – 8.06.
X-Plane nav-aid data file definition (740 version)2015-11-19 15:30:01This explains the legacy nav.dat file format for X-Plane version 7.40 – 8.09.
Airport Data (apt.dat) File Format Specification2015-11-18 13:15:02This document defines core airport data for current version of X-Plane.
Navigation Data (nav.dat & earth_nav.dat) File Format Specification2015-11-12 13:43:14This specification defines all radio navigation data for X-Plane, including NDBs, VORs (inc. VORTACs and VOR-DMEs), and ILS components (localisers, glideslopes, marker beacons), and is supported in X-Plane 8.10 and later.
Fix Intersection (fix.dat) File Format Specification2015-11-12 13:37:02This specification (XP FIX600) defines all fixes and is supported in X-Plane 6.00 and later.
Airway Data (awy.dat) File Format Specification2015-11-12 13:16:32This document describes the file format and codes used in X-Plane's awy.dat file, usable with X-Plane version 7.00 onwards.
Astronomical data (astro.dat) File Format Specification2015-11-12 11:04:21This document describes the file format and codes used in X-Plane's astro.dat file, usable with X-Plane version 7.40 onwards.