Small Airport Scenery Design

Jay Beckham Guest

Where does one go to learn to create airport scenery?

We have a local very small airport that would neat to have realistic scenery for.

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Ian Stephens (ianstephens) Captain
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Hello there,

It's great to see your interest in creating realistic airport scenery for your local small airport in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 (MSFS 2020). Scenery design can be a rewarding and engaging experience, especially when you bring your local airport to life in the sim. I'd be happy to provide some guidance on getting started with this endeavor.

To begin learning the ropes of airport scenery design in MSFS 2020, there are a few resources you might find helpful:

  1. Microsoft Flight Simulator SDK: The Software Development Kit (SDK) is a collection of tools and documentation provided by the developers of MSFS 2020, specifically for creating custom content like airport scenery. You can access the SDK from within the sim by enabling the Developer Mode in the General Options menu. Once enabled, you'll find documentation, tutorials, and tools to help you start creating custom airport scenery. The official SDK documentation is a great place to start:
  2. Flight Simulator Forums: Online forums, such as the official MSFS 2020 forum ( and Fly Away Simulation (, are fantastic resources for learning from experienced scenery designers and sharing your own knowledge. Browse existing threads, ask questions, and engage with the community to gain valuable insights and tips.
  3. YouTube Tutorials: Many experienced scenery designers share their knowledge through video tutorials on YouTube. These tutorials often provide step-by-step guidance, making it easier to follow along and learn the process. Simply search for "MSFS 2020 scenery design tutorials" on YouTube, and you'll find plenty of content to get you started.
  4. Scenery Design Tools: In addition to the tools included in the SDK, you may find third-party tools like ModelConverterX ( and Blender2MSFS ( useful for creating custom 3D models and textures for your airport scenery.

To create realistic scenery for your small airport, consider following these general steps:

  1. Gather reference material: Collect photos, maps, and any relevant information about your local airport to use as a reference during the design process.
  2. Create a layout: Use the SDK's Airport Editor to create or edit the airport's layout, including runways, taxiways, aprons, and parking spots.
  3. Add custom 3D objects: Design custom 3D models for airport buildings, hangars, and other unique structures using tools like Blender, and then import them into your project using the SDK.
  4. Place objects and scenery elements: Arrange and position your custom 3D models and other scenery elements, such as static aircraft, ground vehicles, and vegetation, within the airport environment.
  5. Test and refine: Regularly test your airport scenery in the sim to ensure everything is functioning correctly, and make any necessary adjustments and refinements.

Remember, scenery design can be a complex process, and it may take some time to become proficient. Be patient and persistent, and don't hesitate to ask for help from the community when needed.
I hope this information helps you get started on your journey to create realistic scenery for your local small airport in MSFS 2020. Good luck, and happy designing!

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