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

Title Date Description
FAQs for data designers 2015-11-19 14:08:28 Answers to more technical questions for airport and navigation data designers and scenery developers.
Resources for Data Designers 2015-11-19 14:03:09 This page contains resources to help designers create accurate and efficient airport and navigation data for X-Plane.

File Formats

Title Date Description
Navdata in X-Plane 11 2016-10-09 13:03:18 This document explains the new Nav data format for X-Plane 11.
Airport Data (apt.dat) 11.00 File Format Specification 2015-11-18 13:15:02 This document defines core airport data for current version of X-Plane (11.00 and onwards).
Astronomical data (astro.dat) File Format Specification 2015-11-12 11:04:21 This document describes the file format and codes used in X-Plane's astro.dat file, usable with X-Plane version 7.40 onwards.

Old File Formats

Title Date Description
Airport Data (apt.dat) 1050 File Format Specification 2017-02-07 17:24:23 This defines the legacy apt.dat format for X-Plane version 10.50-10.52.
Airport Data (apt.dat) 850 Version 2017-01-18 13:47:14 This defines the legacy apt.dat format for X-Plane version 8.50.
Airport Data (apt.dat) 10.00 Version 2017-01-18 13:29:37 This document defines core airport data for X-Plane 10.00.
Airport data (apt.dat) 715 version 2015-11-19 15:40:25 This 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 15:30:01 This explains the legacy nav.dat file format for X-Plane version 7.40 – 8.09.
Navigation Data (nav.dat & earth_nav.dat) File Format Specification 2015-11-12 13:43:14 This explains the legacy nav.dat file format for X-Plane version 8.10 – 10.52.
Fix Intersection (fix.dat) File Format Specification 2015-11-12 13:37:02 This explains the legacy earth_fix.dat file format for X-Plane version 7.40 – 10.52.
Airway Data (awy.dat) File Format Specification 2015-11-12 13:16:32 This explains the legacy earth_awy.dat file format for X-Plane version 7.40 – 10.52.