If you’ve been experiencing frustration with the airport locking mechanism on the Gateway, it’s probably my fault! The logic behind this feature was changed recently and it kinda caught us out. All of this deserved an explanation, and some further tweaking from us to make things better.


To protect against two artists working on the same airport, some time ago we introduced the capability to ‘lock’ an airport on the Gateway (for the duration of its development cycle). Originally this feature was unlimited, but was later revised to restrict the number of simultaneous locks that could be taken.

Recent changes

The original locking mechanism was better than nothing, but not much. There was no intelligence behind it, that is to say, nothing to prevent an artist from holding an airport indefinitely (by releasing and renewing the lock) and no taking into account previous submission history for a given artist. As a result, we sometimes heard from frustrated artists that a certain high profile airport was being held for a silly long time by a newbie. Another source of frustration was not being able to lock enough airports to keep busy, a direct result of us trying to solve an earlier problem that artists were occasionally holding too many airports!

So, we brainstormed a new design that took into account each artist’s skill set and submission history. Higher skill sets = more airports that can be locked, more and longer extension periods. Locking an airport and then abandoning it without making a submission = fewer airports that can be locked, fewer and shorter extension periods. I signed off on the new design and Daniela (as always) did a beautiful job coding it to the exact specifications.

Shortly after we went live there was a noticeable drop in Gateway submission levels. This sometimes happens, and I attributed it to the normal ebb and flow. However, it has since become apparent there is more to this. The new ‘locking’ mechanism that was supposed to make things better and fairer was having the opposite effect. At first I could not understand this–surely artists don’t need to lock more airports than they can simultaneously work on? But of course this is wrong! The problem is that, during the wait period between submission and moderation, the airport must remain locked, and hence an artist potentially needs to hold onto a bunch of airports that are ‘in limbo’. No doubt everyone in the community already knew this, but I failed to take it into account when signing off on the new logic.

The Solution

The solution is to not tally airports that are waiting ‘in limbo’. This means as soon as you submit your airport, it is no longer tallied against your lock total (but is still locked in an absolute sense, and therefore cannot be claimed by another artist). One thing to be aware of – when an airport becomes approved or declined,  it ceases to be in limbo, and WILL be tallied against an artist’s lock count. It’s important therefore to manually release locks that are in effect, but no longer needed.

If you’re reading this, it’s already done. Things should be a little better!

11 comments on “Locking Airports On The Gateway

  1. I have updated a scenery with WED 2.4.
    I didn’t know this version is not yet allowed for gateway updates.

    Should I release the lock or continue to lock until WED 2.4 stable?

        1. The road network tool is present in WED 2.4, but requires new tech that is not currently supported in the sim. Additionally, the presence of a road network will result in a validation error that prevents submission to the Gateway.

  2. Now the first priority at maximum level since Nvidia support DLLS in VULKAN since now, is its implementation in X-Plane 11, a really game changer and in VR if X-Plane is the winner for me still, with DLSS would be the first one during months sure. All the best and thanks for all.

    I have been talking with Austin and told me that tell you that begin the work in that for to have it released this afternoon.

  3. The story reminds me a bit of RCS vs. Git: While in RCS only one user can make a change to the locked version, Git works without locks. Basically in Git the user works with a copy to make changes. When “pushing” (uploading the changes) the upload is accepted only if there were no changes in “upstream” since the copy was made. Otherwise the user has to “rebase” his work against the updated version. Basically that means “merging” (nanually resolving conflicts).
    The advantage is obvious: Thousands can work on a single version in parallel.

  4. Sure, a possibility to lock any Airport, while this one is currently under construction, is a very big advantage for the Gateway artists in comparison the others guys. Perhaps that’s why a wish to lock more and more Airports has appearing so often. Thanks, Julian, for this post.

  5. So I guess I need to understand the proper process for locking/unlocking airports I’m working on. My current practice has been to lock an airport when I start to work on it, do the work, submit it, and then unlock the airport.

    Should I leave it locked after submitting the airport and if so, will it be unlocked upon approval? If this is the proper procedure, then I am guilty of “abandoning” airports I have worked on if it is counted as abandoned when I unlock it after submission. As such, I may not have the “experience” points to work on multiple airports at the same time or even consecutively (leaving them locked pending approval) due to my incorrect procedure of locking airports.

    Have the stats been reset to give us a fresh start? I’ve completed every airport I have locked but I’ve not left it locked until approval. Probably shot myself in the foot.

    1. Hi Stephen. Definitely leave the airport locked until it has been approved on the Gateway. There’s always the possibility it will be declined and a follow up submission is needed. The lock will prevent another artist acquiring the airport in the interim, and there’s no longer a penalty for holding onto the airport while awaiting moderation (per the blog above). If the status of the submission is ‘Uploaded’ or ‘Accepted’ it won’t be counted against your lock tally.

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