As per our Community Charter, all of our reviews are free from bias, prejudice and favourtism. Don’t forget, each reviewer has their own style and thoughts, although they all abide by the Review Guidelines - something I suggest you have a read.
Salt Lake City International Airport is the largest airport situated within the state of Utah. It primarily serves the population of Salt Lake City but is used by much of Utah outside of Salt Lake City. It is very much Utah’s gateway to the world. In total, the airport serves 2.5 million people within a 30 minute drive from the airport. The airport handles vast amounts of traffic with roughly 900 flights operating into and out of the airport everyday. In the year of 2015 the airport handled some 22.1 million passengers. The vast amount is vastly aided by the fact that the airport is a hub for both Delta Airlines and Delta Connection carrier, SkyWest Airlines. Salt Lake City serves as the 4th largest hub for Delta following behind airports such as Atlanta and New York’s JFK. The airport in relation to other airports within the US ranks it at the 15th busiest.
Pacific Islands Simulation (Pacsim) are a well known developer who have created multiple high quality sceneries for P3D and FSX. They have brought to us products including Manila and Taipei. Both airports that I have had the pleasure of being able to use within my sim and was very impressed. When I heard that Pacsim were developing Salt Lake City I was rather excited I have to admit. I am a big fan of flying within the United States so any opportunity to pick up a new airport is great for me. Even better when you can expect a high quality scenery from a great developer.
Installation and Setup
The installation process is quite a lengthy process. It’s not particularly hard but resembles the old Orbx installation system. You need to install three different .dat files that will all need to be the placed within same file which will then allow for the installer to install the scenery into your simulator. I cannot confirm whether this 100% is the actual way due to the fact that we at FSElite received a free review copy directly from pacsim.
A configuration tool thankfully is included with this scenery, it allows you to manage how much VAS and FPS you use within the sim with various different configuration options to choose from.
The performance at this airport is ok. It’s not the best I’ve seen but then again I have seen worse. You must take into account the sheer range that this scenery has covered. Pacsim did not simply model the airport. They went over and above to include the whole of Salt Lake City including suburbs as well as modelling some of the surrounding mountain and the lake itself. A crisp level of detail that does mean you must be willing to sacrifice some performance in favour of it. I personally am lucky enough to own a high end system which means I often am not met with performance issues on a regular basis. If you are not in the fortunate position that I am then I would recommend you take consideration into whether you can run this scenery well or not. From what I can recall when I recently flew into this scenery using the FSLabs A320X my VAS usage was at 90% according to the PawkBun VAS Monitor. FPS isn’t too bad but once again does take a small hit as a result of the highly detailed airport and surrounding scenery.
I personally have never had the pleasure of visiting Salt Lake City as when travelling to the USA I tend to prioritise cities such as New York or Los Angeles when visiting. However from what I have heard and what I have seen this scenery has been modelled to a very high depth. A few features within the scenery that personally stood out to me was the attention to detail outside of the perimeter fence as well as smaller features such as terminal interiors. I am an avid fan of terminal interiors and when I am presented with a scenery that has this I am pretty chuffed. When flying into Salt Lake City, it was a sight to behold as the scenery loaded in ahead of me. When overflying the airport on my approach it was nice to observe the detail of this scenery from above. It is very obvious by looking at this scenery that pacsim have tried their best to spare no detail and create the best scenery possible.
Texturing and Modelling
Texturing and modelling are a huge contributor to the outcome of a scenery. The outcome of this scenery is incredible, as said earlier. Pacsim seem to have spared no detail in the creation of this scenery making sure that they have covered all areas. It’s the smaller features that I personally think make a scenery that much better. Pacsim do not fall short in this area, modelling many intricate details that many other scenery developers will often shy away from. This includes detailed weathering, terminal interiors and even custom autogen modelled and textured down to an extreme level covering a very large area.
The scenery has been designed in such a manner that it blends crisply into the surrounding area, whether you are using default mesh or addon mesh such as Orbx. I personally within America am using a mixture of OLC NA and FTX Vector. When flying into Salt Lake City the other day I was not able to tell at what point I was crossing the boundary between Orbx and Pacsim. This shows an excellent integration job by pacsim. I have seen it often where the change between addon scenery and addon mesh are not merged correctly and can end up looking pretty terrible when flying into said airport. At both day and night they flow seamlessly into each other.
The night lighting at this scenery is stunning. I spent a good 10 to 15 minutes flying around this scenery at night in mesmiration. Not only are the lights at the airport itself impressive but the lights that reside outside of the perimetre fence are just as good as those inside. A brilliant effort from Pacsim to make such incredible night lighting.
Is it worth it?
As part of our community charter I am in place to say that we were provided with this scenery free of charge in order to review. However, I do feel strongly that this scenery is worth how much you’ll pay for it. In total this scenery will set you back $35. A reasonable price in my opinion for a scenery of this scale. As said much earlier within the review, this scenery is not just the airport. It is much more. The scenery expands all the way out into Salt Lake City and the mountains with immense detail. If you are a fan of good scenery, Salt Lake City or just like flying in America then this scenery is for you.