Tenerife North Airport (GCXO) is infamously known for being the airport where the worst aviation accident ever occurred. In 1977, two Boeing 747 aircraft collided resulting in the death and injury of hundreds of people. Bad weather and poor communication were the results of the disaster.
Since then, the airport has moved on to be an integral part of tourism and cargo. Many airlines including Ryanair, Vueling, Iberia and others frequent the airport both daily and seasonally. Whilst Tenerife North is still popular within the Canaries, it is less utilised compared to Tenerife South Airport. There are plenty of connections to other airports in the Canary Islands, as well as other parts of Spain and beyond.
Installing the product is a standard affair through the simMarket installation process. It is worth noting that the scenery is only compatible with those that own Tenerife South (or Tenerife Vol. 1) from MK-Studios.
Included in the installation is a brief document explaining the scenery and a few other key bits of information, as well as a configuration tool.
Looking at the airport itself, I could immediately tell this was an MK-Studios airport. They have a distinct look and feel to the texture quality and I was very impressed by the high-resolution ground textures. MK-Studios does an outstanding job at creating incredibly good looking ground poly. In particular, the parking stands look great and the use of environmental effects really adds a lot of life to the airport. The level of detail is sharp and clear, which I really appreciate in any scenery. I also like the fact that there’s variation in the texture work on the ground for things such as the hatched no-parking markings and also cracks in the concrete.
The ground markings themselves seem to be inline with satellite imagery and chart data, so I am confident this is an accurate representation of the real world airport as it currently stands today.
Looking at the modelling, I am pleased to report this is of the same standard other MK-Studios airports. The terminal itself is fairly basic in design, but MK-Studios has added in plenty of minor details to enhance the experience further. For example, ventilation areas, lamp posts and some basic interior modelling are all included. One thing I really like is the reflective PBR glass on the terminal building. As you move and pan the camera, the reflection changes and reflects the current surroundings. It’s very nicely done with minimal impact on the performance.
Inside the terminal building is some basic interior modelling. There is a flight status board, some seating areas and also airport signage. It’s relatively low in resolution to ensure maximum performance. Having these basic models inside help with immersion and overall quality especially when there is reflective glass which you can see through into buildings. There are also some nice human models, but these lack animation. The same can be said for some flags airside outside of the main terminal building.
For all of the elements I loved about the modelling and texture work within the airport, there are some issues with the airport that are hard to overlook. One of my biggest gripes with the scenery is the use of satellite imagery around the airport. The developer has opted to use realistic imagery throughout the airport, which extends all the way to the North of the island to Santa Cruz City, which is just South-East of the airport. However, the overall quality is low and often mismatched to the surrounding terrain. For example, there are some areas with buildings and parked cars in the imagery, but the mesh means it slopes down the side of the mountain in a very unusual way. This is also the same near the airport where there are some issues with the terrain. Another issue I found with this use of satellite imagery is how some parts of the scene rendered much lighter than others. This is a limitation of the simulator, I’ve been told, but I’ve not seen similar issues with other products.
In spite of some of those issues, the fact that the city is also given some love with this product is fantastic and there are plenty of autogen buildings and specific landmarks that make the approach into the airport feel really nice and natural.
One area that MK-Studios does well is PBR implementation. Having used the airport in a variety of weather conditions, the airport features wonderful wet textures on the ground during less than stellar weather. It adds a really nice effect on the ground and is incredibly immersive. Puddles build-up on the ground and the dynamic lighting at night reflects this wonderfully.
Speaking of night lighting, MK-Studios has done a good job of implementing dynamic lighting through the airport with a minimal performance impact. The use of lighting is great, but I did notice issues with some buildings simply not having any night lighting or cases where dynamic lighting would not impact the building at all. This is the same for cars and other parts of the airport. It’s unfortunate as MK-Studios often cross-check these smaller details before releasing a product and considering the product has been out for a reasonable period of time, there appears to be no update insight.
You can buy MK-Studios Tenerife Vol.2 V2 (which includes Tenerife North Airport) for 15.00. Whilst that is a good price, you must own and have Tenerife Vol.1 V2.2 installed to use the airport without issues. This does detract from the overall value of the product.
- Great use of PBR materials, especially on the ground textures
- Modelling work is exceptional with plenty of ground clutter to make the airport feel alive
- Texture work for the ground at the airport is very high quality
- The photo imagery used is not well implemented and issues with quality and colouring
- Mesh issues surrounding the airport and beyond
Where are scores?
After listening to your feedback, we have decided that from February 5th 2020, we will no longer implement review scores. We will continue to provide high-quality reviews via our written, video and imagery to help you make an informed decision about a product. You can read more about it on our Review Guidelines Page.