Orbx Releases Launceston Airport for MSFS

January 19, 2023

Orbx has recently released their rendition of Launceston Airport (YMLT) for Microsoft Flight Simulator, the second-busiest airport in Tasmania after Hobart, with a yearly average of 1,500,000 passengers (pre-pandemic).

Qantas Group is the biggest operator in the airport, with their subsidiary (JetStar) offering up to six daily flights to and from Melbourne, two daily flights to and from Sydney, and one daily flight to Brisbane. Virgin Australia offers a similar selection with five daily flights to and from Melbourne, one to Sydney, and seasonal flights on select days to Brisbane. Airlines of Tasmania and Sharp Airlines offer a variety of short legs to nearby destinations.

Its origins date back to the early 1930s, when it was established as a small grass runway for regional flights, then called The Western Junction Aerodrome. It was officially opened as a government aerodrome in 1931 when over 20,000 people watched Colonel Brinsmead - then controller of civil aviation - “cut the inaugural ribbon.” From 1932 and beyond, small aircraft would fly from Launceston to Flinders Island.

During WW2, it was used by the Royal Australian Air Force as a flight school, preparing pilots for combat. It was the only RAAF air base in  Tasmania. Two of the hangars are still around to this day.

In the early 60s, plans for a Major redevelopment were approved, which included a runway extension, pavement strengthening, and a new terminal building. In 1982, the runway was once again extended to allow for the operation of Boeing 767s. The current privatization came in 1998, with joint ownership between the Launceston City Council and Australia Pacific Airports Corporation. The post-9/11 crisis and the rise of low-cost airlines made the airport grow in passenger traffic, reaching one million passengers for the first time in 2007.

Such exponential growth demanded another expansion, which doubled the size of the terminal and reached completion in November 2009, costing 20 million Australian dollars.

Developed by Ken Hall, an indie, who happens to be from the region and had exclusive access to the airport, taking hundreds of reference pictures to help with the accuracy and even allow for extra realism on the texturing side of things. It features a faithful recreation of the airport as it currently stands, with PBR texturing, static aircraft, detailed hangars, and terminal building.

It’s available on Orbx Direct for roughly $17.03, requiring at least 2.65 GB of free hard disk space to install.
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