Good Airport sceneries and realistic global environment are certainly the icing on the cake for flight simulation. I personally do not consider any of the FS9 default airport as worthwhile for take-off or landing. The buildings are looking like shoe boxes, nicely painted with some windows. An up-to-date taxi and run way layout is also an issue, even though it could be updated by a new AFCAD file.
I have installed a broad collection of add-on sceneries, mainly European airports, some North African airports, and a few airports of the Asia region. All together roughly 100 airports. Some of them are freeware others are payware. From the operational point of view I'm not able to vist each airport at least once a year, because with let's say 120 simulator flights per year, and a large amount of preferred airports some airports will see me only every other year. Some of the airport certainly could be deleted, which would give me some space for more recent scenery installations. A nice example of an airport which I do visit only once a year is Rovaniemi (ICAO: EFRO), situated close to the Arctic Circle and considered as the home of Santa Claus. Every year in December IVAO organizes a virtual flight event to EFRO with a large number of participating pilots.
I have a couple of favorite sceneries / airports, which I either visit very often or which give me an extra adrenalin rush when approaching them.
The rating of the sceneries is based on overall impression, expectation and perceived performance.
|Some room for improvements. Acceptable rating for freeware, but not for payware|
|Fulfills my expectation on scenery design and performance|
|Excellent in design and performance|
|LOWI INN Innsbruck||Approaching Innsbruck, Aerosoft, very nice appraoch|
|LOWW VIE Vienna International||FlyTampa, V2.0|
Picture taken at LOWI. Scenery 'Approaching Innsbruck'. Scenery: Aerosoft
Picture taken at LOWW, Vienna International, during boarding. Scenery: FlyTampa
|LFMN NCE Nice-Côte d'Azur||
Nice Côte d`Azur X, Aerosoft
Ready for taxi. Picture taken at Nice, LFMN. Scenery: 'Nice Côte d`Azur X' by Aerosoft