Threshold Review: MK Studios' Malaga Airport for MSFS

December 16, 2023
Copy Provided
Copy Provided


Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport (LEMG) is a public airport serving the city of Málaga and the entire region of the Costa del Sol with a yearly average of 18.5 million passengers, making it the fourth busiest airport in Spain after Madrid, Barcelona, and Palma de Mallorca.

Built 104 years ago, Málaga is one of the oldest airports in Spain in its original location, with scheduled air service starting only a few months after its inauguration, featuring regular flights between Toulouse, Barcelona, Alicante, Tangier, and Casablanca.

The increased demand for air travel in the 1960s brought a new runway and a new terminal built around the site's center, followed by upgrades to the overall infrastructure, including new navigational equipment and a new radar system in the 1970s.

The late 60s/early 70s brought two new passenger terminals, one catering specifically to non-scheduled traffic, which grew increasingly important with package holidays during that period. 

A new passenger terminal was built in 1991, designed by Ricardo Boffil Taller de Arquitectura. It's still in use today (Terminal 2). Four years later, the old passenger terminal building was converted into a general aviation terminal, along with the construction of a new hangar for large aircraft maintenance and a cargo terminal in 1996. 

In 2002, a new control tower was built, with a total height of 54 meters. 

Two years later, their new expansion plan kicked in, which included the construction of a new terminal and a new runway. A year later, the old passenger terminal from the 60s was demolished to make room for the expansion plans.

Six years after its kick-off, the Malaga plan was bearing its very first fruit: Terminal 3 was finally ready, opened by King Juan Carlos, and ready for public use the day after. The new runway took a bit longer to reach completion, getting the green light for landings in May 2012. The first commercial flight to land on runway 12/30 was a Transavia Boeing 737-800 from Amsterdam.

As things currently stand, Málaga Airport has three terminals, but only two are now in use. There are three piers, two in Terminal 2 and one in Terminal 3, with 48 gates (and only 26 jetways).

It's a base for easyJet, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ryanair, and Vueling, and visited by Aegean Airlines, Air France, Air Arabia, Air Cairo, airBaltic, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Bulgaria Air, Condor, Eurowings, Finnair, Gulf Air, Iberia, Israir,, KLM, Kuwait Airways, Lufthansa, Luxair, Marabu, Play, Qatar, Saudia, Scandinavian Airlines, Smartwings, Swiss, Transavia, TUI Airways, TUI fly Belgium, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, Volotea, and Wizz Air (some of them only visit during summer).

MK Studios' rendition promises a highly detailed rendition of the airport, with fully modeled interiors, elevation data based on a high-quality LiDAR scan, custom ground polygon, realistic lighting, custom jetways, and more.


The scenery is distributed through SimMarket and easily installed with their app.

First Impressions 

As usual with my scenery reviews, I prefer to fly into the airport instead of loading in, as it adds to the novelty factor and makes it either very enjoyable - in case of good performance - or frustrating, if otherwise. All in all, it's my favorite way to go about exploring new sceneries. The first flight of choice was a two-hour half-hop from Dublin with Ryanair, which transformed into three hours because of the very unkind winds that day. 

Not only did the winds not help, but my assigned arrival on runway 31 was a bit long, making it at least 10 minutes longer than it should have been and overall 30-40 minutes longer than the real-life average. What a journey it was! It was hard not to feel transported back to simpler days when I was still in university and doing lots of UK - Spain or Germany - Spain legs while reading books for my dissertation. Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza… While Microsoft Flight Simulator was already a thing (announced, at least), most of us were still either on Prepar3d or X-Plane, while a select few were already using an alpha build of the "sim of the future." 

Not from the first flight specifically, but it's the same approach.

Aside from Palma de Mallorca and Ibiza, Málaga was an airport I had not visited yet in Microsoft Flight Simulator because there was not a good LEMG available for a long time. It wasn't until earlier this year that the first payware showed up, followed by MK Studios a few months later. As I didn't try out the former, arriving from Dublin would be my first Málaga landing in the simulator. 

As I got closer to the runway threshold, I first noticed the presence of photogrammetry, which is generally unusual for Europe, aside from major cities and some of France. It warranted a screenshot or two, surely. It looked very nice! "Kept you waiting, huh?" I said to runway 31 as I touched down for the first time in three years. 

This one is, in fact, from the first flight

The arrival was not a stuttery mess despite the generally deadly combination of big airport and photogrammetry. I managed to land smoothly and safely, rapidly making my way to stand 33, where I had to deboard quickly and set up for the return flight to Dublin. It would be a very long Ryanair evening (even though I was using daytime in MSFS to match the real flight's departure time a good half a day prior). 

While waiting for the passengers to deboard the aircraft, I decided to take a stroll around the airport with the drone camera, checking out the texturing, modeling, lighting, and so on. What I generally do when flying into a new scenery for the first time. 

What instantly caught my eye was how every bit of the terminal had its fully modeled interior, albeit in a more simplified manner, for performance reasons, most likely. There are passengers, seats, signs, and empty stalls, and it goes on and on for quite a while. It's a big airport, after all.

Modeling / Texturing 

The modeling is consistently great across the airport, with a nicely modeled passenger terminal and interior, custom jetways, some ground clutter, and the many hangars and facilities scattered around its massive area. 

You can tell they have paid attention to every nook and cranny of the airport, making sure to include the Kar Air Convair 440-75 Metropolitan, tail OH-VKN, which was the plane used for the first package tour flight in Malaga's history, which had taken off from Helsinki in 1959, landing in Malaga after 3000 kilometers and three refueling stops. The Convair is part of the Malaga Airport Museum, which is also carefully represented. That area is where the original terminal was between 1948 and 1965. The other highlight of the museum, the Iberia DC-9, is also there, albeit without its livery. 

The ground texturing is solid, with realistic ground markings, decent levels of wear and tear on the apron, and properly placed signage. More dirt on the stands would be nice.

The ground clutter is quite nice, not overly dense, but not sparse, which is clever from a performance standpoint. It does get dense in areas further away from the terminal, where it does not hurt performance in any way, as it would if rendering along with the detailed passenger terminal. Clever.

The cargo terminal is well-modeled and texturized, but one thing caught my attention: the trucks are mostly North American, which looks out of place considering we are in Spain. While they are generally not fully visible from the airside, it's still odd. 

The airside experience is great, especially from the main passenger terminals. The textures are solid, the custom jetways look nice, and you can see everything that is going on inside the terminal, which only makes sense, given it's almost entirely transparent, which kind of forces the developer to add an interior, as parallax doesn't quite look good when the entire terminal is transparent. You can get away with terminals with slightly darker windows, but that wouldn't work with this airport.

Aside from the aforementioned North American trucks, the landside is also solid enough, with great texturing, loads of clutter, and convincingly dense overall, as you would expect from the 4th busiest airport in Spain.

Night Lighting  

The night lighting is great, which is important for an airport with many transparent areas. The airside experience gets even better at night, I daresay. You can see almost everything going on inside, while the outside is also decently lit, as expected.

Runways and taxiways are also properly lit up at night, making night flying a breeze.


My Setup: 32 GB RAM, Ryzen 7 3700X, Nvidia RTX 3080 10 GB, 2 TB SSD (non-NVMe).

The framerate is solid when landing and taking off, but it does dip a little bit when parked at the stand, although not in a dramatic manner that could negatively impact the experience. It can be mitigated by uninstalling the nool VDGS module and its folders, making it run at least 20% better overall. I highly recommend doing so if your graphics card is incompatible with Frame Generation.

Overall, it performs in line with most airports of its size. It's not the lightest out there, but it's also far from being one of the most demanding. On that size note, the file size is impressively tiny (less than 2 GB!), considering how big the airport is, meaning they worked hard on asset optimization.


Retailing for $18.06, it would be unfair not to recommend it. Packing in a lot of detail, a very good LiDAR terrain mesh, and being easily the best rendition of Málaga currently available for Microsoft Flight Simulator (and probably the best LEMG yet overall), it's a must-have for summer ops enjoyers, with the bonus that it's busy on a year-long basis rather than just during summer. After all, it's a base for EasyJet, Norwegian, Ryanair, and Vueling, with a massive destination list.

A huge thank you to MK Studios for providing us with a review copy!

Follow us on our Socials !

Threshold encourages informed discussion and debate - though this can only happen if all commenters remain civil when voicing their opinions.