Revision History

7 Nov 2022	Minor corrections for  X-Plane 12 early access.
1 May 2022	Add row codes 1402, 1501 for custom service trucks & jetways

16 Nov 2021	Spec created, based upon most recent apt.dat 11.30 spec.
		Add new surface types for runways, taxiways, helipads.
		Add property extensions for runway markings and lights.
		New row code 1500 for moving jetways.
16 Nov 2021	Updated new lines styles added in 11.30, correct wording in row code 21 name field
11 April 2019	Updated with new COM frequency capabilities added in 11.30.
14 Feb 2018	Minor corrections to Definition of Data fields
25 Jan 2017	Spec created, based upon prior apt.dat 1050 spec.

Applicability

This specification (APT.DAT 1200) is supported in X-Plane 12.00 and later and by WorldEditor 2.5 and later. The prior specification for airport data was APT.DAT 1130, which is recommended for X-Plane 11.30+.

This spec is an extension to 1130 – all features in 1130 are fully supported.

Support for Deprecated File Formats

The deprecated file specifications (APT.DAT 1050, 1000) are still supported. A dwindling quantity of custom airport data exists only in this format. So airports defined according to these specifications can be included in a file otherwise complying with the most recent specification.

Overview & Scope

This specification defines core airport data for X-Plane.  This includes the locations of runways, taxiway and apron pavement, basic airport ‘furniture’ (VASI/PAPIs, windsocks, light beacons and taxiway signage) and communications frequencies.  It also includes attributes for each of these features to fully describe them (eg. it includes runway surface type, runway markings, taxiway lighting and markings, approach lighting, taxiway sign text, etc).

This specification (1200) introduces new surface types, extensions for runway markings & lights, and new row codes.

This specification does not include scenery objects (such as buildings, static aeroplanes or underlying terrain textures).

Basic concepts

  • Latitudes and longitudes are described in a decimal notation (eg. 20.12345678) up to 8 decimal places.
    • A latitude of 50 degrees 30 minutes south would be defined as -50.50000000
  • North latitudes and east longitudes are positive.  South latitudes and west longitudes are negative.
  • All headings are referenced to true north (not magnetic north).

File Characteristics

The apt.dat files are plain text files:

  • Fields in the data can be separated by one or more white space characters (space, tab).
    • By default, the files are generated so that columns of data are consistently aligned, but this is not required.
  • Blank rows are permitted and are helpful to differentiate between airports.
  • Comments are permitted and are indicated by “#” as the first two characters of a row.

File Structure

It is recommended that all airports be created in WorldEditor (“WED”).  This will ensure that all structural requirements listed here for airport data are met.  WED version 2.5 is required to support all the features in this spec.

In common with most other X-Plane data file specification, header rows of data define the origin of a particular copy of a file, and define the file specification version.   The file specification may be followed by a reference to a sequential release data cycle and build number for the data, and a version information message:

I
1000 Version – written by WorldEditor 2.5.0r2

Each row of data has a numeric ‘row code’ as its first field, to define its content.

  • The top level of this hierarchy defines an individual airport, defined by an airport header row (a row code of ‘1’, ‘16’ or ‘17’).
  • Subsequent rows define elements of an airport:
    • Runways (including helipads) follow the airport header row (one row per runway).
    • Pavement (taxiway/apron) definitions have a header row followed by an ordered list of nodes that define its boundaries:
      • Each pavement definition must each have a single boundary with no overlaps with itself.
      • Nodes on this outer boundary must be defined in a counter-clockwise direction.
      • Boundaries must be terminated with a node with a row code ‘113’ or ‘114’.
      • Pavement definitions may overlap with another pavement chunk.  But this is not recommended – instead consider precise alignment of adjacent features by ‘snapping’ nodes to identical locations in World Editor (WED).
        • A pavement definition can never overlap with itself.
          • The sequencing of the pavement definitions is the layering in which they will be rendered in X-Plane, top-down.  So the last piece of pavement in the file will be rendered underneath any others with which it overlaps.
          • Holes can be defined for pavement (through which the underlying terrain texture will show):
            • Hole boundaries should follow the termination of the pavement definition in which the hole occurs (starting with a row type ‘111’ or ‘112’).
            • Hole boundaries are defined in a clockwise direction (ie, opposite direction to the boundary nodes).
            • Hole boundaries must form a closed loop (ie. must terminate with a row code ‘113’ or ‘114’).
            • Each pavement definition can have zero, one or multiple hole boundaries.
            • Hole boundaries must be contained within the outer boundary of the pavement definition.
            • Holes cannot overlap each other.
            • After creating a hole boundary, it can be ‘filled’ with a new pavement chunk (probably using a different surface type).
              • Linear features also have a header row followed by an ordered list of nodes that define the line:
                • Linear features can be closed loops (terminating in a node of type ‘113’ or ‘114’) or just strings (terminating with ‘115’ or ‘116’).
                  • An airport boundary is defined with nodes in a counter-clockwise direction.  A boundary can contain holes (see above) and must form a closed loop (terminating in a node of type ‘113’ or ‘114’).
                  • Airport traffic flows have a header row (row code ‘1000’) followed by multiple rows that define rules of multiple classes (time, wind direction, ceiling, visibility, runway in use, VFR traffic pattern) that indicated that a flow should be used (wind rules, minimum ceiling rules, visibility rules, time rules, and operations rules).
                    • A flow is acceptable if any rule of a class is acceptable, or if there are no rules of a given class. So to permit a flow with no time restrictions, simply exclude any traffic time rules (row code ‘1004’).
                    • Rules use ‘or’ logic.  For example, a flow may have two wind rules (row code ‘1001’)  – one for slight winds very generally aligned with a runway, and one with strong winds only if they are almost exactly with the runway.
                    • A flow will be used only if all its rule classes are ‘passed’.
                    • The flows are evaluated in sequence.  The first flow to ‘pass’ will be used.  So, the most specific-but-useful rule should be listed first (eg. parallel VFR approaches on a clear, calm day) and the most general (but least useful) rules should be listed last (eg. a single ILS cat III approach to a single runway).
                    • If the rules prevent any defined flow from being ‘passed’ then X-Plane’s AI engine will create a flow.
                    • ‘Runway in use’ rules (row code 1100) are also evaluated in sequence.  The first ‘runway in use’ rule to ‘pass’ will be used for the parent flow.  So rules should be listed in preferential sequence.
                      • Airport taxi routes & networks begin with a row code ‘1200’ and are defined by a set of nodes (row code ‘1201’) and ‘edges’ (the taxi routing) that connect two nodes (row code ‘1202’):
                        • Nodes can be defined as ‘init’ (a point at which X-Plane will try to start a taxi route), ‘end’ (where X-Plane will try to end a taxi route), or ‘both’.  ‘junc’ can also be used for junctions between taxi routes.
                        • Edges must specify an allowed width, sizes A-E, and may be followed by multiple rows (row code ‘1204) defining an ‘active zone’ ‘for that parent edge (eg. if the edge conflicts with arrival or departure runways, or an ILS-critical area).
                        • Taxi routings begin or end at ramp locations (row code ‘1300’), which are also available as startup-locations in X-Plane.  These locations may not be directly connected to the taxi route network – X-Plane’s ATC engine will calculate how to direct an airplane between the taxi route network and each location.
                        • Ground truck route edges (row code ‘1206’), parking locations (row code ‘1400’), and destinations (row code ‘1401’) are included under row code header ‘1200’ for taxi networks.
                          • Other airport features are defined with one row for each feature.

The file is terminated by a ‘99’:

99

Row Codes

Each row of data begins with an integer code that defines the type of data:

Row Code Meaning Comment
1 Land airport header
16 Seaplane base header
17 Heliport header
   100 Runway
   101 Water runway
   102 Helipad
   110 Pavement (taxiway or ramp) header Must form a closed loop
   120 Linear feature (painted line or light string) header Can form closed loop or simple string
   130 Airport boundary header Must form a closed loop
      111 Node All nodes can also include a “style” (line or lights)
      112 Node with Bezier control point Bezier control points define smooth curves
      113 Node with implicit close of loop Implied join to first node in chain
      114 Node with Bezier control point, with implicit close of loop Implied join to first node in chain
      115 Node terminating a string (no close loop) No “styles” used
      116 Node with Bezier control point, terminating a string (no close loop) No “styles” used
   14 Airport viewpoint One or none for each airport
   15 Aeroplane startup location *** Convert these to new row code 1300 ***
   18 Airport light beacon One or none for each airport
   19 Windsock Zero, one or many for each airport
   20 Taxiway sign (inc. runway distance-remaining signs) Zero, one or many for each airport
   21 Lighting object (VASI, PAPI, Wig-Wag, etc.) Zero, one or many for each airport
   1000 Airport traffic flow Zero, one or many for an airport.  Used if following rules met (rules of same type use ‘or’ logic, rules of a different type use ‘and’ logic).  First flow to pass all rules is used.
      1001 Traffic flow wind rule Zero, one or many for a flow.  Multiple rules use ‘or’ logic.
      1002 Traffic flow minimum ceiling rule Zero or one rule  for each flow
      1003 Traffic flow minimum visibility rule Zero or one rule  for each flow
      1004 Traffic flow time rule Zero, one or many for a flow.  Multiple rules use ‘or’ logic.
      1100 Runway-in-use arrival/departure constraints, 10kHz frequency resolution First constraint met is used.  Sequence matters!
      1110 Runway-in-use arrival/departure constraints, 1kHz frequency resolution Alternate option to row code 1100.
      1101 VFR traffic pattern Zero or one pattern for each traffic flow
   1200 Header indicating that taxi route network data follows
      1201 Taxi route network node Sequencing must be 0 based, ascending by ID.  Must be part of one or more edges.
      1202 Taxi route network edge Must connect two nodes
      1204 Taxi route edge active zone Can refer to up to 4 runway ends
1205 Taxi route edge control Replaces 1203
1206 Taxi route edge Ground vehicles only
   1300 Start up location (deprecates code 15) Not explicitly connected to taxi route network
1301 Start up location metadata Consists of an ICAO width code, an operations type code and zero or more space separated 3-letter airline codes
1302 Airport identification metadata Zero, one or many for each airport
1400 Truck Parking Location Not explicitly connected to taxi route network
1401 Truck Destination Location Must not allow car pile ups due to bad one way designs
   1050 –1056 8.33kHz communication frequencies (11.30+) Zero, one or many for each airport
   50 – 56 Legacy 25kHz communication frequencies Zero, one or many for each airport. Ignored if row codes 1050-1056 exist.
1500 Active jetway

Example Data

Here is some example data for KBFI.  It is not real and is very incomplete, but it illustrates examples of most types of data found in an apt.dat file.  This data includes an airport header, runway, water runway, helipad, PAPI, taxiway definition, painted line, viewpoint, startup location, light beacon, windsock, taxiway sign and an ATC communications frequency:

1    21 1 0 KBFI Boeing Field King Co Intl

100  29.87   1   0 0.15 0 2 1 13L  47.53801700 -122.30746100   73.15    0.00 2  0 0 1 31R  47.52919200 -122.30000000  110.95    0.00 2  0 0 1

101 49 1 08 35.04420900 -106.59855700 26 35.04420911 -106.59855711

102  H1   47.53918248 -122.30722302   2.00   10.06   10.06   1 0   0 0.25 0

21   47.53666659 -122.30585255  2 150.28   3.30 13L PAPI-2L

110  1 0.25 150.29 A2 Exit

111  47.53770968 -122.30849802

111  47.53742819 -122.30825844   3

112  47.53752190 -122.30826710  47.53757385 -122.30824831   3 102

114  47.53768630 -122.30834929  47.53768690 -122.30838150   3 102

120  Line B1

111  47.53969864 -122.31276189  51

111  47.53977825 -122.31255145   1

115  47.54002296 -122.31189878

14   47.52917900 -122.30434900  100 0 ATC Tower

15   47.52926674 -122.29919589 304.16 A8 Run Up

18   47.52920400 -122.30412800 1 BCN

19   47.53900921 -122.30868700 1 WS

20   47.54099177 -122.31031317 235.71  0 2 {@L}A1{@R}31R-13L

50   12775 ATIS

Here is some example data for KSEA showing the 1000 version traffic flow and taxi route data:

1000 Calm and South flow

1001 KSEA   000 359 5

1001 KSEA   070 250 999

1002 KSEA   0

1003 KSEA   0

1004 0000 2400

1100 16C 11920 arrivals jets|turboprops|props 160340 161161 Arrival 16C

1100 16R 11920 arrivals jets|turboprops|props 341159 161161 Arrival 16R

1100 16L 11920 arrivals heavy 000359 161161 Arrival Heavy Jets

1101 16R right

1200

1201  47.46360812 -122.30613338 both 5416 A_stop

1202 5258 5266 twoway taxiway B

1204 ils 34R

1300  47.43931757 -122.29806851  88.78 gate jets|turboprops A10

Here is some example data for KSEA showing the 1050 metadata and 1100 ground truck additions:

1302 city Seattle

1302 country United States

1302 datum_lat 47.449888889

1302 datum_lon -122.311777778

1302 faa_code SEA

1302 iata_code SEA

1302 icao_code KSEA

1206 107 11 twoway  C

1300  47.44158755 -122.30116873  44.78 gate jets A3

1301 D airline dal

1400  47.44374472 -122.30463464  88.1 baggage_train 3 Svc Baggage

1401  47.44103438 -122.30382493  0.0 baggage_train Luggage Train Destination South 2

Definition of Data Fields

Each column in each row code is defined below, using the example data from KBFI & KSEA shown above.  Note that:

  • Some row codes store data in an identical specification, and these have been grouped together in the table below.
  • The specification aims to be consistent.  For example, the format or latitudes and longitudes is always the same, and all headings/orientations are defined as true (not magnetic) degrees.
Row Meaning Comment
Example value Explanation Valid values
1 Land airport header Row codes 1, 16 and 17 share a common format (see below)
16 Seaplane base header Row codes 1, 16 and 17 share a common format (see below)
17 Heliport header Row codes 1, 16 and 17 share a common format (see below)
1 Row code for an airport, seaplane base or heliport 1, 16 or 17
21 Elevation of airport in feet above mean sea level (AMSL)
1 Deprecated.  Use default value (“0”) Use 0
0 Deprecated.  Use default value (“0”) Use 0
KBFI Airport Identifier.  X-Plane internal use only, not used for user-facing functions, NOT used to determine the “ICAO code”  by X-Plane >10.45.. See rowcode 1302. Use X + local identifier to create fictional on not Sceney gateway coordinates ID’s. Maximum seven characters.  Must be unique.
Boeing Field King Co … Airport name.  May contain spaces. Text string (up to 40 characters)
100 Land Runway
100 Row code for a land runway (the most common) 100
29.87 Width of runway in metres Two decimal places recommended.  Must be >= 1.00
1 Code defining the surface type (concrete, asphalt, etc) Integer value for a Surface Type Code (see below)
206
(= 2x 100 + 6)
Code defining a runway shoulder surface  type + 100x width of each shoulder in whole meters. See Surface Type Code below – all asphalt and concrete styles supported.
If the number is >100, the 100-digit (and optionally 1000-digit) define the width of the shoulder in meters.
If the number is <100 (i.e. only the surface code), width is same as X-Plane 11, scaling with runway tpe and width, some 3-5 meters.
0.15 Runway smoothness (not  used by X-Plane yet) 0.00  (smooth) to 1.00 (very rough).  Default is 0.25
0 Runway centre-line lights 0=no centerline lights, 1=centre line lights
2 Runway edge lighting (also implies threshold lights) 0=no edge lights, 2=medium intensity edge lights
1 Auto-generate distance-remaining signs (turn off if created manually) 0=no auto signs, 1=auto-generate signs
     The following fields are repeated for each end of the runway
13L Runway number (eg. “31R”, “02”).  Leading zeros are required. Two to three characters. Leading zero’s are printed, if present.
Valid suffixes: “L”, “R”, “C” (visible in markings on paved surfaces)
Suffixes “W”, “S” and “T” are valid, but never printed.
47.53801700 Latitude of runway end (on runway centerline) in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
-122.30746100 Longitude of runway end (on runway centerline) in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
73.15 Length of displaced threshold in metres (this is included in implied runway length)

A displaced threshold will always be inside (between) the two runway ends

Two decimal places (metres).  Default is 0.00
0.00 Length of overrun/blast-pad in metres (not included in implied runway length) Two decimal places (metres).  Default is 0.00
2 Code for runway markings (Visual, non-precision, precision) Integer value for Runway Marking Code (see below)
0 Code for approach lighting for this runway end Integer value for Approach Lighting Code (see below)
0 Flag for runway touchdown zone (TDZ) lighting 0=no TDZ lighting, 1=TDZ lighting
1 Code for Runway End Identifier Lights (REIL) 0=no REIL, 1=omni-directional REIL, 2=unidirectional REIL,
101 Water runway
101 Row code for a water runway 101
49 Width of runway in metres Two decimal places recommended.  Must be >= 1.00
1 Flag for perimeter buoys 0=no buoys, 1=render buoys
     The following fields are repeated for each end of the water  runway
08 Runway number.  Not rendered in X-Plane (it’s on water!) Valid suffixes are “L”, “R” or “C” (or blank)
35.04420911 Latitude of runway end (on runway centerline) in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
-106.59855711 Longitude of runway end (on runway centerline) in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
102 Helipad
102 Row code for a helipad 101
H1 Designator for a helipad.  Must be unique at an airport. Usually “H” suffixed by an integer (eg. “H1”, “H3”)
47.53918248 Latitude of helipad centre in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
-122.30722302 Longitude of helipad centre in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
2.00 Orientation (true heading) of helipad in degrees Two decimal places recommended
10.06 Helipad length in metres Two decimal places recommended (metres), must be >=1.00
10.06 Helipad width in metres Two decimal places recommended (metres), must be >= 1.00
1 Helipad surface code Integer value for a Surface Type Code (see below)
0 Helipad markings 0  (other values not yet supported)
0 Code defining a helipad shoulder surface  type 0=no shoulder, 1=asphalt shoulder, 2=concrete shoulder
0.25 Helipad smoothness (not  used by X-Plane yet) 0.00  (smooth) to 1.00 (very rough).  Default is 0.25
0 Helipad edge lighting 0=no edge lights, 1=yellow edge lights
110 Pavement (taxiways) Defines an arbitrary pavement shape
110 Row code for a pavement chunk header (must be followed by a set of nodes) 110
1 Code defining the surface type (concrete, asphalt, etc) Integer value for a Surface Type Code (see below)
0.25 Runway smoothness (not  used by X-Plane yet) 0.00  (smooth) to 1.00 (very rough).  Default is 0.25
150.29 Orientation (true degrees) of pavement texture ‘grain’ Two decimal places recommended
A2 Exit Description of pavement chunk (not used by X-Plane) Text string
120 Linear feature Painted surface markings & light strings
130 Airport boundary Boundary for future terrain ‘flattening’
120 Row code for a linear feature or airport boundary 120 or 130
Line B1 Description of feature or boundary (not used by X-Plane) Text string
111 Node Node (plain)
112 Node Node with Bezier control point
113 Node Node (close loop), to close boundary
114 Node Node (close loop) with Bezier control point
115 Node Node (end) to terminate a line
116 Node Node (end) with Bezier control point
112 Row code for a node.  First node must follow an appropriate header row 111 thru 116
47.53752190 [All nodes] Latitude of node in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
-122.30826710 [All nodes] Longitude of node in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
47.53757385 [112, 114, 116 only] Latitude of Bezier control point in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported.  Ignore for 111, 113, 115
-122.30824831 [112, 114, 116 only] Latitude of Bezier control point in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported.  Ignore for 111, 113, 115
3 [Not for 115 or 116] Code for painted line type on line segment starting at this node Integer Line Type Code (see below).  Not for 115 or 116
102 [Not for 115 or 116] Code for lighting on line segment starting at this node Integer Line Type Code (see below).  Not for 115 or 116
14 Viewpoint Maximum of one viewpoint for each airport
14 Row code for a viewpoint 14
47.52917900 Latitude of viewpoint in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
-122.30434900 Longitude of viewpoint in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
100 Height (in feet) of viewpoint above ground level Integer
0 Code deprecated.  Use ‘0’ 0
ATC Tower Name of viewpoint (not used by X-Plane) Descriptive text string (optional)
15 Startup location Startup locations for airplanes at an airport Should be converted to new row code 1300
15 Row code for a startup location 15
47.52926674 Latitude of startup location in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
-122.29919589 Longitude of startup location in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
304.16 Heading (true) of an aeroplane when positioned at startup location Two decimal places recommended
A6 Run Up Name of startup location (list will be displayed in X-Plane for each airport) Short descriptive text string – ten characters or less
18 Light beacon Maximum of one beacon for each airport
18 Row code for an airport light beacon 18
47.52920400 Latitude of beacon in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
-122.30412800 Longitude of beacon in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
1 Code for type of light beacon.  Determines colors of beacon. Integer Beacon Type Code (see below)
BCN Name of viewpoint (not used by X-Plane) Descriptive text string (optional)
19 Windsock Multiple windsocks permitted for each airport
19 Row code for a windsock 19
47.53900921 Latitude of windsock in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
-122.30868700 Longitude of windsock in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
1 Flag for windsock lighting 0=unlit, 1=illuminated
WS Name of viewpoint (not used by X-Plane) Descriptive text string (optional)
20 Signs Taxiway signs or runway distance-remaining signs
20 Row code for a sign 20
47.54099177 Latitude of sign in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
-122.31031317 Longitude of sign in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
235.71 Orientation of sign in true degrees (heading of someone looking at sign’s front) Two decimal places recommended
0 Reserved for future use.  Ignore. 0
2 Code for sign size Integer Sign Size Code (see below)
{@L}A1{@R}31R-13L Text to be rendered on sign front and/or back Text string formatted by Sign Text Definition (see below)
21 Lighting objects VASI, PAPI, wig-wags, etc.
21 Row code for a lighting object 21
47.53666659 Latitude of lighting object in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
-122.30585255 Longitude of lighting object in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
2 Code for type of lighting object Integer Lighting Object Code (see below)
150.28 Orientation of lighting object in true degrees (looking toward  object) Two decimal places recommended
3.30 Visual glideslope angle in degrees Two decimal places.   0.00 if not required.  Default is 3.00
PAPI-2L Name of lighting object (not used by X-Plane] Short text string (optional)
1000 Traffic flow Arrival and departure traffic flows
1000 Row code for an arrival/departure traffic flow 1000
Calm and south flows Traffic flow name Descriptive name (max 50 characters)
1001 Traffic flow wind rule Zero or multiple wind rules permitted per flow
1001 Row code for a traffic flow wind rule 1001
KSEA METAR reporting station (may be a remote airport, eg KSEA for KBFI) ICAO code, up to 7 characters
000 Wind direction minimum (magnetic) 000 – 359
359 Wind direction maximum (magnetic) 000 – 359
5 Maximum wind speed.  Use 999 for ‘all’ wind speeds. 0 – 999
1002 Traffic flow ceiling rule Zero or one ceiling rule permitted per flow
1002 Row code for a traffic flow ceiling  rule 1002
KSEA METAR reporting station (may be a remote airport, eg KSEA for KBFI) ICAO code, up to 7 characters
0 Minimum reported ceiling in feet AGL at reporting station Positive integer
1003 Traffic flow visibility rule Zero or one visibility rule permitted per flow
1003 Row code for a traffic flow visibility rule 1003
KSEA METAR reporting station (may be a remote airport, eg KSEA for KBFI) ICAO code, up to 7 characters
0 Minimum reported visibility in statute miles Float (eg. “1.5”)
1004 Traffic time rule Zero or multiple time rules permitted per flow
1004 Row code for a traffic flow time  rule 1004
0000 UTC time from which rule is valid 0000 – 2400
2400 UTC time at which rule ends 0000 – 2400
1100 Runway-in-use rule Multiple rules for each flow.  First to ‘pass’ is used
1100 Row code for a runway-in-use rule 1100
34C Runway end identifier Two to three characters. Valid suffixes: “L”, “R” or “C” (or blank)
11920 Arrival or departure frequency Five digit integer, rounded DOWN where necessary. 10kHz resolution only.
arrivals Rule type (arrivals, departures) Pipe separated list (“|”).  ‘arrivals’ and/or ‘departures’
jets|turboprops Airplane types to which rule applies Pipe-separated list (“|”).  Can include “heavy”, ”jets”, “turboprops”, “props” and “helos”
181359 On course heading range ((ie. first leg of flight plan  for departures, last leg for arrivals) 000000 – 359359
341341 Initial ATC assigned departure heading range.  Not used for arrivals. 000000 – 359359
Arrival 34C Rule name Descriptive name (max 50 characters)
1110 Runway-in-use rule Replaces 1100 row code, supports 8.33kHz radio frequencies. Multiple rules for each flow.  First to ‘pass’ is used.
1110 Row code for a runway-in-use rule 1110
34C Runway end identifier Two to three characters. Valid suffixes: “L”, “R” or “C” (or blank)
118325 Arrival or departure frequency Six digit integer, rounded DOWN where necessary, 1kHz resolution
arrivals Rule type (arrivals, departures) Pipe separated list (“|”).  ‘arrivals’ and/or ‘departures’
jets|turboprops Airplane types to which rule applies Pipe-separated list (“|”).  Can include “heavy”, ”jets”, “turboprops”, “props” and “helos”
181359 On course heading range ((ie. first leg of flight plan  for departures, last leg for arrivals) 000000 – 359359
341341 Initial ATC assigned departure heading range.  Not used for arrivals. 000000 – 359359
Arrival 34C Rule name Descriptive name (max 50 characters)
1101 VFR pattern rule Zero or one VFR pattern rule permitted per flow
1101 Row code for a VFR traffic pattern 1101
34L Runway end identifier Two to three characters. Valid suffixes: “L”, “R” or “C” (or blank)
left VFR traffic pattern direction “left” or “right”
1200 Taxi routing network (for readability only)
1201 Taxi routing node All nodes must be used in at least one edge
1201 Row code for taxi routing network node 1201
47.53752190 Latitude of node in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
-122.30826710 Longitude of node in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
both Usage of node in network (begin or end a taxi path, or both) “dest”, “init”, “both” or “junc”
5416 Node identifier (defined in 0 based sequence, ascending) Integer.  Must be unique within scope of an airport.
A_start Node name.  Not currently used. String (max 16 characters)
1202 Taxi routing edge Segment in taxi routing network
1202 Row code for taxi routing network edge 1202
5416 Node identifier for start of edge Integer.  Must refer to valid node (row code ‘1201’)
5417 Node identifier for end of edge Integer.  Must refer to valid node (row code ‘1201’)
twoway Edge can be used in both directions “twoway” or  “oneway”
taxiway Node is on a regular taxiway.  If on “runway” a clearance is needed from ATC “taxiway” or  “runway”
A Taxiway identifier.  Used to build ATC taxi clearances (eg. “.. .taxi via A, T, Q”) String.  Taxiway or runway identifier (eg. “A” or “16L/34R”)
1204 Edge active zone Identifies an edge as in a runway active zone.
1204 Row code for an edge entering a runway active zone 1204
arrival Active zone classification “arrival” or “departure” or “ils”
16L,16C Runway(s) to which active zone refers Comma-separated list up to 4 runway identifies
1206 Taxi routing edge (ground vehicles) Segment in taxi routing network (ground vehicles only)
1206 (See 1202) (See 1202)
107 (See 1202) (See 1202)
11 (See 1202) (See 1202)
twoway (See 1202) (See 1202)
1300 Start up location Start or end point for aircraft.  Not linked to taxi routing network by edges (row code 1202)
1300 Row code for taxi route start/end point 1300
47.44158755 Latitude of location in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
-122.30116873 Longitude of location in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
44.78 Heading (true) of airplane positioned at this location Decimal degrees, true heading
gate Type of location “gate”, “hangar”, “misc” or “tie-down”
jets Airplane types that can use this location Pipe-separated list (“|”).  Can include “heavy”, ”jets”, “turboprops”, “props” and “helos” (or just “all” for all types)
A3 Unique name of location Text string, must be unique within a single airport
1301 Row Code  For ramp start metadata
1301 1301
d ICAO width code A, B, C, D, E, F
airline Operation type none, general_aviation, airline, cargo, military
dal Airline permitted to use this ramp 3-letter airline codes (AAL, SWA, etc)
1302 Row Code Airport metadata
1302 row code Takes zero, any or all applicable Key_values
icao_id key_value for ICAO code icao_id, faa_id, iata_id, city_id, country_id, region_id
KSEA ICAO for airport Unique identifier up to 7 characters long
1400 Truck Parking
1400 row code
47.44374472 Latitude of location in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
-122.30463464 Longitude of location in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
88.1 Heading (true) of the OBJ positioned at this location Decimal degrees
baggage_train type string baggage_loader, baggage_train, crew_car, crew_ferrari, crew_limo, pushback, fuel_liners, fuel_jets, fuel_props, food, gpu
3 0 to 10 if type is baggage_train, 0 if not
Svc Baggage Name of parking Text string
1401 Truck Destination
1401 row code
47.44103438 Latitude of location in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
-122.30382493 Longitude of location in decimal degrees Eight decimal places supported
0.0 Heading (true) of the positioned at this location Decimal Degrees, true heading
baggage_train Truck types allowed to end up at this destination Pipe separated list (“|”). Include 1 or more of the following baggage_loader, baggage_train, crew_car, crew_ferrari, crew_limo, pushback, fuel_liners, fuel_jets, fuel_props, food, gpu
Luggage Train Destination South 2 Name of Truck Destination Text string
1402 Custom service truck
myLib/myCrewCar.obj vpath to custom  object to replace default object for vehicle in in last 1400 row code preceding this If vpath is not defined, this rowcode is silently ignored and the last preceeding 1400 record keeps using the default vehicle.
1050 ATC – Recorded AWOS, ASOS or ATIS
1051 ATC – Unicom Unicom (US), CTAF (US), Radio (UK)
1052 ATC – CLD Clearance Delivery
1053 ATC – GND Ground
1054 ATC – TWR Tower
1055 ATC – APP Approach
1056 ATC – DEP Departure
1052 Row code for ATC COM Frequency Supercedes row codes 50-56.
128730 Frequency in kHz, 833kHz capable radio channels only 118000 – 135995
ATIS Descriptive name (displayed on X-Plane charts) Short text string (10 characters or less recommended)
50 ATC – Recorded AWOS, ASOS or ATIS
51 ATC – Unicom Unicom (US), CTAF (US), Radio (UK)
52 ATC – CLD Clearance Delivery
53 ATC – GND Ground
54 ATC – TWR Tower
55 ATC – APP Approach
56 ATC – DEP Departure
51 Row code for an ATC COM frequency 50 thru 56 (see above)
12775 Frequency in MHz x 100 (eg. use “12322” for 123.225MHz) Five digit integer, rounded DOWN where necessary
ATIS Descriptive name (displayed on X-Plane charts) Short text string (recommend less than 10 characters)
1500 Active jetway
46.512345 Latitude of location in decimal degrees Location of base of telescoping jetway tunnel
-123.00345 Longitude of location in decimal degrees
42.0 Heading of parked tunnel Decimal Degrees, true heading
0 Jetway style code 0 = light color, solid (metal) sidewalls
1= light color, glass side walls
2 = dark color, solid (metal) sidewalls
3 = dark color, glass side walls
2 Jetway size code 0 = tunnel length 11 –  23m
1 = tunnel length 14 –  29m
2 = tunnel length 17 –  38m
3 = tunnel length 20 –  47m
0 Do  not use or change not used, in X-Plane 12.00
17.5 Parked tunnel length In meters, must be within the extension capabilities according to the size code
127.3 Parked cabin heading True north heading. Must be within the articulating capabilities of the jetway, which is from 0 to 90 degrees counter clockwise from the heading of the tunnel.
1501 Custom jetway
myLib/myJWgate8.obj vpath to custom cabin/tunnel object for replace LR default object in last 1500 row code preceeding  this If vpath is not defined, this rowcode is silently ignores and the – default cabin/tunnel object is used as for the last preceding 1500 record

Codes

Codes used to define airport data:

Codes Comment
Code value Code meaning Code applicability
Surface Type Code Surface type of runways or taxiways
1 Asphalt
2 Concrete
3 Turf or grass
4 Dirt (brown)
5 Gravel (grey)
12 Dry lakebed (eg. At KEDW) Example:  KEDW (Edwards AFB)
13 Water runways  (do not use in XP10+, use rowcode for “sealane” instead)
14 Snow or ice Poor friction.  Runway markings cannot be added.
15 Transparent Hard surface, but no texture/markings (use in custom scenery)
20-23 Light colored asphalt Each “shade” of asphalt comes in  4 different subtypes differing in cracks, seams or dirt added to the base texture.

The first subtype adds a moderate amount of seams, representing mid-aged asphalt that has not been repaired.
The 2nd subtype adds dark, patched cracks, indicative of older, but well maintained asphalt.
The 3rd subtype is “plain”, intended for manual additions of particular cracks & seams as a separate layer on top.
The 4th subtype adds more cracked and discolored areas, aka “worn, fair shape or not well maintained” asphalt.

1,24-26 Asphalt, comparable in brightness to XP11 asphalt
27-30 Darker colored asphalt
31-34 Very dark colored asphalt
35-38 Near black, ‘new’ looking asphalt
50-52 Light “new” looking concrete Each “shade” of concrete  comes in  3 different subtypes differing in cracks or dirt added to the base texture.

The first subtype looks very uniform, has no cracks, representing very good shape asphalt.
The 2rd subtype is “dirty” looking, non-uniformly colored.
The 3rd subtype is “worn” with cracks developing in addition to non-uniform coloring.

2,53-54 Concrete, comparable in brightness to XP11 concrete
55-57 Dark concrete
Runway Marking Code Markings on runway
0 No runway markings Disused runways appear like taxiways
1 Visual markings
2 Non-precision approach markings
3 Precision approach markings
4 UK-style non-precision approach markings UK uses distinctive touch-down zone markings
5 UK-style precision approach markings UK uses distinctive touch-down zone markings
6 EASA style non-precision approach markings EASA differs from FAA for location and number of distance marks on runway before/after touchdown zone bars
7 EASA style precision approach markings
Approach Lighting Code Approach lighting systems
0 No approach lighting
1 ALSF-I

  • High intensity Approach Light System with sequenced flashing lights
2 ALSF-II

  • High intensity Approach Light System with sequenced Flashing lights
  • Red side bar lights (barettes) the last 1000’, that align with TDZ lighting.
3 Calvert 

  • British – High intensity
4 Calvert ILS Cat II and Cat II

  • British – High intensity with red side bar lights (barettes) the last 1000’
  • Barettes align with TDZ lighting
5 SSALR

  • High intensity, Simplified Short Approach Light System
  • With Runway Alignment Indicator Lights (RAIL)
6 SSALF

  • High intensity, Simplified Short Approach Light System
  • With sequenced flashing lights
7 SALS

  • High intensity, Short Approach Light System
8 MALSR

  • Medium-intensity Approach Light System
  • With Runway Alignment Indicator Lights (RAIL)
9 MALSF

  • Medium-intensity Approach Light System with sequenced flashing lights
10 MALS

  • Medium-intensity Approach Light System
11 ODALS

  • Omni-directional approach light system
  • Flashing lights, not strobes, not sequenced
12 RAIL

  • Runway Alignment Indicator Lights
  • Sequenced strobes and green threshold lights, with no other approach lights
Line Type Code Painted lines and light strings
Note that for all linear features that involve runway entrance hold lines and associated lights (4, 5, 6, 103 & 104 below), the runway is assumed to be to the LEFT of the string and the taxiway to the RIGHT (looking along string from its first node)
0 Nothing.
1 Solid yellow line Taxiway centre lines
2 Broken yellow line Miscellaneous boundaries
3 Double solid yellow lines Taxiway edge lines
4 Two broken yellow lines and two solid yellow lines.  Broken line on left of string. Runway hold positions
5 Broken yellow line with parallel solid yellow line. Broken line on left of string. Other (non-runway) hold locations
6 Yellow cross-hatched line ILS hold
7 Solid yellow line with broken yellow line on each side Taxiway centerlines in runway safety zones
8 Widely separated, broken yellow line Mark ‘lanes’ for queuing aeroplanes
9 Widely separated, broken double yellow line Mark ‘lanes’ for queuing aeroplanes
51-59 Line types 1-9 above with a black border Use on concrete surfaces for higher contrast
20 Solid white line Roadway markings
21 White chequerboard pattern Roadway markings
22 Broken white line Roadway centreline
Note that lights added to the edge boundary of a piece of pavement (or hole) will be placed off the edge of the pavement (about one meter).
101 Green embedded lights, bidirectional along string axis Taxiway centrelines
102 Blue lights, omnidirectional Taxiway edge
103 Closely spaced, embedded amber lights.  Unidirectional to right of string Hold lines
104 Closely spaced, pulsating embedded amber lights.  Unidirectional to right of string Runway hold lines
105 Alternating green and amber embedded lights, bidirectional along string axis Centrelines in runway safety zones
106 Red lights, omnidirectional Edge lights in dangerous/critical zones (eg. on bridges)
Beacon Type Code Airport light beacons
0 No beacon.  Suppresses automatic creation of beacon by X-Plane. Use a dummy airport lat/lon for the location.
1 White-green flashing Civilian land airport
2 White-yellow flashing Seaplane base
3 Green-yellow-white flashing Heliport
4 White-white-green flashing Military airport
Sign Size Code Taxiway sign sizes & types
1 Small taxiway sign
2 Medium taxiway sign
3 Large taxiway sign
4 Large distance-remaining sign on runway edge Alternatively, can be auto generated for a runway
5 Small distance-remaining sign on runway edge Alternatively, can be auto generated for a runway
Lighting Object Code Lighting objects
1 VASI Location is centre point between the two VASI units
2 PAPI-4L (four-light) on left of runway Left-handed:  red indication appears first on right 2 lights
3 PAPI-4R (four light) on right of runway Right-handed:  red indication appears first on left 2 lights
4 Space Shuttle PAPI, 20 degree glidepath Deprecated.  Use normal PAPI with an appropriate angle.
5 Tri-colour VASI
6 Runway guard (“wig-wag”)  lights Pulsating double amber lights alongside runway entrances

Further Information

Resources are available for airport designers at the X-Plane Scenery Gateway at //gateway.x-plane.com/

X-Plane Airport Data (apt.dat) File Specification Page  of         1200 Version, 1-May-2022

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