It is quite common for military airports to be converted for civilian use. So much so that in the United States, the FAA has an entire program for converting old, unused military airports to new, pristine civilian-ready airstrips. Though military airport conversion is common, converted airports becoming major transportation hubs is less typical. In the Philippines however, there is one major exception.
Once an American military base, Ninoy Aquino International Airport, more commonly referred to as Manila Airport, was converted and opened for civil operations in 1948. Ninoy did not become a major international airport overnight. Initially, it only operated lean equipment, that is, smaller regional aircraft. But over the years, it has grown to become the Philippines' main airport. Ninoy is equipped with two runways, the largest one measuring 3.737 m x 60 metres which allows for heavies and supers.
As a result of the country’s expansion, the airport has seen an increase in traffic of 1-5 million each year with 2019 seeing approximately 47,898,046 passengers, a number close to the airport’s operational limit. As a result, starting in June 2019 construction on a new airport in Bulacan, a city near Manila, began and is projected to be completed in 2025 replacing Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
CloudSurf Asia Simulations RPLL + Mega Manila Scenery for X-Plane 11 is a free high-quality scenery of Manila airport and the surrounding landscape. As we write this article, it is approximately 7GB in size, contains custom objects, facades, vegetations, autogen, and orthoimagery to reflect the real Manila airport and its surroundings.
All the terminals are custom textured with custom static aircraft at the gates. However you will not find static aircraft at the classic ramp which is normally used for online flying on networks such as VATSIM and IVAO. The airport is equipped to handle 3rd party traffic add-ons such as Live Traffic and Traffic Global and has AutoGate integrated throughout. If that was not enough, the airport also comes with custom HDR lighting on the airport stands which makes it stand out at night, pun intended.
Adding to the custom textures, Mega Manila has extremely detailed ground textures to accompany the eye-candy-full experience you will be having on your next flight to the Philippines. You will be so busy taxiing on the ground admiring the textures that you might forget, like I did writing this article, that there are custom runways waiting to be landed and taken off from. The custom ground textures truly bring the flying experience to a whole new level of realism.
This scenery is highly optimized and very FPS friendly even for mid-range computers like mine. CloudSurf Asia recommends an Intel Core i5 or higher and a GTX 1050 or higher to experience the full breadth of this scenery.
CloudSurf Asia Simulations RPLL + Mega Manila Scenery for X-Plane 11is a fantastic scenery to have in your Custom Scenery folder. The orthoimagery, custom objects, and custom textures bring Manila to life and put some payware addons to shame. I believe anyone who adds Manila to their library will find themselves stuck on the taxiway admiring the amazing work. Finally, with not many Asian sceneries for X-Plane released, CloudSurf Asia’s Mega Manila is a great opportunity for all sim pilots to add Manila to their bucket list of unflown destinations. I highly recommend you check out CloudSurf Asia's work and try out their Manila scenery. See you next Monday!