Author Topic: Efficient airport designs?  (Read 2938 times)

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Offline Fraoch

Efficient airport designs?
« on: June 09, 2015, 07:39:22 PM »
Hello:

Airports - I'm doing them wrong.  :)

This is obviously not a very good design but I can't see a better way to do it.  What happens with this design is that most aircraft compete for runway 2.  Runway 1 is only used when I buy a new aircraft in the hangar and send it on its way.  Runway 3 is only used when an aircraft has spot 6 as the destination.  If spots 1-5 are the aircraft's designated stop, the aircraft will always try to use runway 2, even it's assigned spot 5 and runway 3 is free.

There must be a better way.  I'm not using all the airport building tools available to me, would one of them help?  I don't understand what most of them do - for example, the one way and one way runway signs.  I believe the lights are just for decoration, correct me if I'm wrong.

Any ideas?  I'm sure others have encountered this before.

Thank you.

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Re: Efficient airport designs?
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2015, 08:56:45 PM »
I do the following:

1) In one airport make separate runway-taxiway-station spot systems, e.g. only a few spots serve exactly two runways. Design it in such a way that from every spot exactly two runways can be reached.
2) For each pair of runways, designate one as a landing runway and one as a leaving runway. You can do that by using one way signs on the taxiways. Do it in such a way that planes taxi-ing from and to the runway interfere as less as possible.
3) Make the runways 3 tiles long, put the connection with the taxiway on the middle tile.
4) Balance the airplane lines in such a way that all runways are evenly used.

Lights are indeed for decoration only.
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Offline Fraoch

Re: Efficient airport designs?
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2015, 10:01:31 PM »
Thank you very much!  I'll try that.

Offline DrSuperGood

Re: Efficient airport designs?
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2015, 10:43:39 PM »
The best way is to design it into paired units. Each unit of the pair has 1 landing runway and both share a single exit runway (since 100% utilization for take off is easy). Both are 3 tile long run ways and the entire thing (the paired section) is a strip. The length of each unit of the pair is up to you, you can have them 6 long for 12 landing bays if you want to park a lot of planes there. I generally recommend 3 long for 6 bays. A simple "landing only" unit could be as little as 1 length.

Sharing a common exit runway saves on maintenance since you can easily get twice the traffic leaving than landing due to how landing operates. The bays are all in a line to limit travel distance, 3 length for the parking line is a good trade off since you spend little distance on the ground and each bay is on the exit path (no back tracking). You need to place the one-way signs before building the far side bays because of a bug allowing a one-way intersection.

You normally cannot place signs on intersections but if you place the sign and promote it to an intersection it will have a one-way sign that functions as intended (one-way intersection, not allowing traffic back the way it came but allowing it to take any branch). Personally I would recommend this be made part of the standard placement of signs since it is so useful with airport placement, especially when designating land and take-off runways (important for airports).

Do not bother with more than one landing or take off runway per unit. Although it should be possible to specify which runways to use with waypoints this may only be in next release and even then has been reported to be kind of buggy. It is far easier and more efficient to have units with 1 entry and exit ramp using signs to control the flow, any other configuration needs extra ground ways which wastes money (especially pak64 where planes cost a fortune when on the ground).

Here is a text layout of a 12 bay functional unit, a unit intended for parking planes. Another is shown for a simple "land only" configuration.
Code: [Select]
W = Way for planes to move on ground.
R = Runway
B = Docking Bay
S = W with a one-way sign allowing traffic towards middle.

Parking bays.
RBBBRBBBR
RSWSRSWSR
RBBBRBBBR

Landing bays.
RBRBR
RSRSR
RBRBR

I strongly recommend that aircraft be forced to have a minimum run-way length in future. Such efficient units should not be possible for massive planes and overall airports are too easy to design and build currently.

Offline Vladki

Re: Efficient airport designs?
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2015, 06:44:39 AM »
The problem with airport on screenshot is simple. Runway 2 is the closest to bays 1-5.

Offline Fraoch

Re: Efficient airport designs?
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2015, 01:31:44 PM »
The best way is to design it into paired units. Each unit of the pair has 1 landing runway and both share a single exit runway (since 100% utilization for take off is easy). Both are 3 tile long run ways and the entire thing (the paired section) is a strip. The length of each unit of the pair is up to you, you can have them 6 long for 12 landing bays if you want to park a lot of planes there. I generally recommend 3 long for 6 bays. A simple "landing only" unit could be as little as 1 length.

Sharing a common exit runway saves on maintenance since you can easily get twice the traffic leaving than landing due to how landing operates. The bays are all in a line to limit travel distance, 3 length for the parking line is a good trade off since you spend little distance on the ground and each bay is on the exit path (no back tracking). You need to place the one-way signs before building the far side bays because of a bug allowing a one-way intersection.

You normally cannot place signs on intersections but if you place the sign and promote it to an intersection it will have a one-way sign that functions as intended (one-way intersection, not allowing traffic back the way it came but allowing it to take any branch). Personally I would recommend this be made part of the standard placement of signs since it is so useful with airport placement, especially when designating land and take-off runways (important for airports).

Do not bother with more than one landing or take off runway per unit. Although it should be possible to specify which runways to use with waypoints this may only be in next release and even then has been reported to be kind of buggy. It is far easier and more efficient to have units with 1 entry and exit ramp using signs to control the flow, any other configuration needs extra ground ways which wastes money (especially pak64 where planes cost a fortune when on the ground).

Here is a text layout of a 12 bay functional unit, a unit intended for parking planes. Another is shown for a simple "land only" configuration.
Code: [Select]
W = Way for planes to move on ground.
R = Runway
B = Docking Bay
S = W with a one-way sign allowing traffic towards middle.

Parking bays.
RBBBRBBBR
RSWSRSWSR
RBBBRBBBR

Landing bays.
RBRBR
RSRSR
RBRBR

I strongly recommend that aircraft be forced to have a minimum run-way length in future. Such efficient units should not be possible for massive planes and overall airports are too easy to design and build currently.

Thank you!  I'm experimenting around with this idea and here's what the arrangements look like.  At first I didn't fully understand but as I constructed it, it made sense.

The runways at the edges are the landing runways - 2 runways are shared over 12 parking spots (6 if one-sided).  The one-way signs prevent these being used as takeoff runways.  The runway at the centre is for takeoffs only, and all 12/6 parking spots use this.

Offline DrSuperGood

Re: Efficient airport designs?
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2015, 02:58:35 PM »
Quote
Thank you!  I'm experimenting around with this idea and here's what the arrangements look like.  At first I didn't fully understand but as I constructed it, it made sense.

The runways at the edges are the landing runways - 2 runways are shared over 12 parking spots (6 if one-sided).  The one-way signs prevent these being used as takeoff runways.  The runway at the centre is for takeoffs only, and all 12/6 parking spots use this.
To get both sides used efficiently you assign each side a separate lines. For example the 12 structure might had 4 lines of 3 aircraft, 2 lines on each side, depending on what you use it for.

The good part of the design is that it is rectangular so it can pack several such airport structures close together.

Offline Fraoch

Re: Efficient airport designs?
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2015, 03:32:05 PM »
Even one-sided, it's already vastly more efficient than what I had before.

How do you get it to work two-sided as part of the same stop/airport?  Do you build a series of airport buildings around it, connecting one side to the other?

Offline DrSuperGood

Re: Efficient airport designs?
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2015, 04:47:23 PM »
Quote
How do you get it to work two-sided as part of the same stop/airport?  Do you build a series of airport buildings around it, connecting one side to the other?
When building the centre path you make a temporary stop to carry the station across to the other side's stops.

Offline Fraoch

Re: Efficient airport designs?
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2015, 05:00:38 PM »
When building the centre path you make a temporary stop to carry the station across to the other side's stops.

Aha!  Thank you.