• Review: Aerosoft - Mega Airport Barcelona Professional

    Mega Airport Barcelona Pro

    Publisher: Aerosoft

    Review Author:
    Alex Dickinson

    Suggested Price:
    $32.99

    Buy Here

    Aerosoft - Mega Airport Barcelona     Aerosoft - Mega Airport Barcelona

    Introduction

    Aerosoft have been covering Barcelona as an add-on for over a decade now. They have produced the airport for a variety of platforms including FS2004, FSX and P3D. Their FSX version Mega Airport Barcelona Evolution was one of my favorite airports to fly in and out of.

    Aerosoft have since upgraded their Evolution package to take advantage of the new features found in P3D V4 so as to bring a more enhanced experience. Aerosoft claim that Mega Airport Barcelona Professional now offers P3D V4 users Dynamic Lighting, which will change depending on weather and what time of day it is. Using SDK technology, they have been able to use new materials to optimise performance as well as improve runway 3D lighting and more. Of course, the product also comes with the usual array of features already found in the previous versions, such as: high-resolution buildings and textures of the airport and surrounding area, intensely modelled airport buildings (includes the interior of the new Terminal 1 building), plus detailed ground markings, animated vehicle traffic, etc.

    Aerosoft - Mega Airport Barcelona     Aerosoft - Mega Airport Barcelona

    History

    The airport was first opened in 1916 and was originally used as a base for Spanish Zeppelins during the first part of the 20th century. Just like many airports during the second world war, it was subject to expansion and rigorous improvements. In 1948, runway 07-25 was built, which still exists today. Soon after, a third runway was built perpendicular to runway 07-25, along with a new passenger terminal and taxiways. During the 1960s the airport yet again saw expansion, with the runways being extended, as well as new navigational equipment being installed. At the start of the 1970s, the airport first saw flights to America with Pan American who offered flights to New York via Lisbon. During the same decade, flights started to Madrid - this route has since become one of the most pivotal domestic air routes in the world. Between the 1970s and 1990s the cargo terminal was built. 1992 was a critical year for the airport as the city was to host the Olympic games. It was important that the airport was ready to meet the increased demand, and as such, the airport expanded again and introduced airbridges on 24 stands. This was not a wasted endeavour as the airport within the decade, had hit 10 million passengers per year. Also, In the middle of this decade, the iconic control tower was opened.

    Aerosoft - Mega Airport Barcelona     Aerosoft - Mega Airport Barcelona

    At the start of the 21st century, plans were laid to build a new shopping area in terminal B and new boarding modules in terminal A. Later in 2003 the third runway (parallel to the runway 07-25) was made operational. The next year the runways were improved to offer ILS Category II/III in both directions. Improvements to the runway lighting also helped the airport to operate in times of poor/reduced visibility. In 2009 the new Terminal 1 reopened with an area of 500,000 square meters.

    Since then, the airport has changed little, but it is possible that it will expand further. Updates on the infrastructure and communication systems are planned and are already underway. High speed rail connections and improved road access are also being considered as well as a new terminal on the north eastern area of the site.

    The Airport Today

    The airport today handles over 50 million passengers through its doors per year, this makes the airport the seventh busiest in Europe. With two terminals it sits only behind Madrid with four as the second largest airport in Spain. The airport plays host to over 50 airlines serving destinations as far away as Sao Paulo Brazil and Hong Kong. The airport is also the home of low-cost carriers Vueling and Level. But unlike many UK airports, Barcelona is owned and operated under a government company called Aena.

    Aerosoft - Mega Airport Barcelona     Aerosoft - Mega Airport Barcelona

    Installation

    With any Aerosoft product the installation process is quick, simple and easy. Usually all you have to do is hit a few buttons and within five minutes the airport is installed. Barcelona professional is no different, as it sports a traditional, simple installation process, which comes in very handy for people like me with very little technical knowledge who sometimes can even struggle to turn on a computer.

    However, during the installation process, I was unexpectedly surprised to be offered a chart viewer to view LEBL charts. I really like this feature, as it's nice not to have to go digging around online (or in folders), to find the relevant charts. However, don't expect to get a whole collection of airport charts like a Navigraph subscription. Instead you only get the airport that you have just purchased, in this case, Barcelona. All the same, I believe this to be a smashing idea by the folks at Aerosoft!


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