Threshold Review: 29Palms’ Santorini Airport & Island for MSFS

May 30, 2024
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Santorini International Airport is the eighth busiest airport in Greece, serving the Greek island of Santorini. With over 2.7 million passengers annually, it is the gateway for many travellers wanting to experience the climate and culture of the Greek island.

The airport was first operated in 1972. Before being converted to a civilian airport, it was initially used for military purposes. In the early 1980s, the airport started its first commercial operations.

The airport serves the Greek island of Santorini, which is well known and attracts a large number of tourists annually. Tourists arrive on the island by both water and air, as Santorini boasts significant cruise tourism as well as fly-in passengers. With its world-famous volcano, Santorini is a natural wonder of the world. The architecture on the island is also recognized worldwide.

Over the years, the airport has undergone various upgrades, making the island more accessible to tourists. In 2015, several airports in Greece, including Santorini, were privatised through an agreement between the joint venture of Fraport AG/Copelouzos Group and the state privatization fund. As of April 11, 2017, the joint venture has been scheduled to operate the airport for a period of 40 years.

In 2021, a massive renovation was completed at the airport. The existing terminal was refurbished and expanded by 12.900 square meters. Additionally, a new fire station was built, the aircraft parking area was reconfigured, and further check-in counters, baggage reclaim belts, departure gates, and security-check lanes were constructed. A new modern baggage handling system was introduced, a new guardhouse was built, and the existing forecourt and parking were redeveloped. All these renovations marked a new era for Santorini Airport.

Today, the airport has numerous destinations due to seasonal charters. Year-round flights are operated to both Athens and Thessaloniki, while destinations such as Oslo, London, and Paris are seasonally operated. Airlines such as Aegean Airlines,, and Ryanair ensure that the Greek island has a yearly average of around 2.7 million passengers and around 24.000 aircraft movements.

29Palms has released its version of the airport, focusing on both realism and detail. Their scenery includes both the airport and the entire island, featuring mesh terrain in 3m/pixel resolution, vegetation, villages, ports, points of interest, animations and AI vessel traffic. The airport has features such as custom buildings, interior, updated layout, dynamic lights, and much more, making their rendition of Santorini Airport as realistic as possible.


Since the scenery package is available through Contrail, installation is stress-free with a one-click install.

First Impressions

After arriving at Santorini Airport for the first time, I was impressed by the terminal building as I looked out from my trusted Fenix A320. When I disembarked and explored the island, I was amazed by the abundance of Greek architecture and the many points of interest to discover.

One of my favourite activities when visiting new places is to use the drone camera to fly around the airport. Upon my first aerial tour, I found the airport buildings to be impressive, with a well-designed terminal interior and plenty of ground equipment. Personally, I enjoy flying to Greece in the summer, and island hopping from Athens is a particular favourite of mine. Santorini has long been on my list of destinations to add to my logbook, and at first sight, it promises to be a stylish entry.

The interior of the airport was impressive. Everything, from the check-in desks to the departure boards, as well as the people and the tax-free shops, had been nicely modelled. While the airport in Santorini may not have enormous glass windows at the terminal to look through, I still appreciate a well-designed terminal interior.

Additionally, the surrounding scenery, in fact, the entire island, has been beautifully rendered. The seamless transition between the airport and the surrounding scenery is impressive. From the distinctive Greek architecture to the volcanoes and cruise ships, the scenery offers a complete package. This, along with the airport, makes it a really exciting place to fly to and a great addition to Microsoft Flight Simulator.

Modelling / Texturing

The level of detail in the modelling is truly impressive. The airport has been meticulously designed, resulting in a consistent and accurate representation. By using PBR texturing, the terminal and other airport objects are filled with intricate details, making this version of Santorini Airport for Microsoft Flight Simulator the most realistic and up-to-date one yet from 29Palms.

In addition to the exterior, the airport also features a detailed interior, adding another layer of realism. Despite this, the interior has no impact on performance, which is a welcome aspect.

Detailed ground clutter, including buses, pushback trucks, and baggage wagons, has been strategically placed around the airport to create a realistic environment. The placement of each vehicle has been carefully considered to ensure authenticity.

Furthermore, the scenery includes a GSX profile that can be easily installed through the Contrail App, providing seamless GSX integration.

The airport's taxiways, ground markings, and runways have been accurately recreated and updated to reflect the real-life apron layout and parking positions. This ensures that pilots can easily navigate to their designated locations.

Night lighting

I believe that the best experience is flying to an airport during the day, especially when landing on an island like Santorini. This allows you to see the beautiful scenery and feel the atmosphere of the place. However, it is still possible to fly into Santorini at night. 29Palms has ensured that dynamic lights are present around the entire airport area, avoiding the use of night textures. This makes the airport come to life at night, and flying into the airport at night is just as realistic as during the day.


For reference, here are the details of my setup: Nvidia RTX 3070 8 GB, Intel i5-12600K, 32 GB RAM, and a 1 TB SSD.

Regarding the performance at Santorini, it was really impressive. While flying the Fenix A320, the performance was steady at 60 FPS, and the drone cam reached 65 FPS. I was particularly impressed by the smooth FPS, especially considering the detailed airport and the entire island scenery.


29Palms is renowned for its highly accurate and immersive airports, and their new Santorini Airport & Island package lives up to this reputation. The package offers a combination of realism and immersion with numerous features. The airport is meticulously detailed and includes an entire island, complete with Greek autogen and vegetation. Priced at $19.85, it offers great value for the amount of content included. 29Palms has delivered the flight sim community the most accurate and detailed Santorini Airport for Microsoft Flight Simulator, and it truly impresses.

A big thank you to 29Palms for providing us with a copy to review!

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