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.
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:
- 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
- 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
- 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.