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In Anticipation of KBOS ..(video added: 7/24)


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Just had a thought here.  I know it's been mentioned before and it's worth stressing, having a little more control over the gate assignments would seriously increase the realism in some areas.  For example, it's all different now but when I was at KBOS there was one Terminal B but it was split into US Airways on one side and American on the other, some of the AA side was for American Eagle/Connection, Some of the US side just for the Shuttle, an area for express.  Actually, if I remember right, some gates were destination specific - I seem to recall B4 was KPIT, B6 was KCLT and B8 was KPHL or something close to that.  B5, B7, B9A and B9B were express, etc.  You get the idea.  But going with a standard, "Tower" designation of Terminal_B you could get a spattering of aircraft all over.  That's why I divided up KBOS in Tower 2011 to Terminal_B1, Terminal_B2, etc. so I could put all Eagleflights on the end of the wing, all US Airways Shuttles on their extension (which now wraps around to United), etc.


So the point of this nostalgic indulgence is, can we get a little more detailed on the terminal gate assignments?  And I realize this could get a bit tedious but, if we REALLY want to go for realism and the ability to customize, not just give each terminal it's own line in the kbos_terminal file but, each GATE.  I mean, why not .. instead of this:


Terminal_A: DAL, SWA

   have this:

Terminal_A15: DAL

Terminal_A16: DAL

Terminal_A17: DAL

Terminal_A18: SWA

Terminal_A19: SWA

Terminal_A20: SWA


Is that something that could be accomplished without killing performance?  (No idea how the allocation of gates affects things or how pathfinding is affected by them.)  Just a thought.  However on the heels of a comment on the cargo areas at KATL (gee, could it be AvWriter?  :p ) .. North and South cargo should be clearly defined as separate ramps/terminals.  North cargo is for UPS, DHL and I BELIEVE ABX has been known to park there.  South cargo is the domain of FEDEX exclusively.


~ John

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One other quick thought - another benefit of this setup would be that you would know the exact gate the aircraft is going to IMMEDIATELY.  We all know how when you click on an arriving aircraft it highlights the terminal .. so if each "terminal" is in fact a gate then you will know which gate they want and be able to issue very specific taxi commands right away.  Just sayin.  :)


~ John

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Sorry to say Folks, but it is unlikely we will simulate each gate.

Tower!3D's terminal assignment is a much more complex simulation than T!2011 was so during landing the plane doesn't know which gate it will use. For the next version of Tower this is something we should look into (along with many new features).

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Ok well if not that, what about breaking up the terminals into smaller bits?  Again as an example using KBOS:

Terminal_A_1: PIL,WJA,RPA (gates A1-A11)

Terminal_A_2: DAL (gates A13-A17)

Terminal_A_3: SWA (gates A18-A22)

Terminal_B_1: ACA   (gates B1,B2,B3)

Terminal_B_2: AAL (gates B4,B6,B8,B10,B12,B14,B15-B20, B30-B36)

Terminal_B_3: UAL (gates B21-B29)

Terminal_B_4: AWI,PEN (gates B5,B7,B9a,B9b,B11,B13)

Terminal_B_5: NKS (gates B37, B38)

Terminal_C_1:VRD,ASA (gates C40-C42)

Terminal_C_2:KAP (gate C27 - ga ramp style with several spots)

Terminal_C_3: JBU (gates C8-C21, C25, C26, C28-C34, C36)

Terminal_E_1: POE (gates E1,E2,E3)


Terminal_North_Cargo: UPS,ABX (3 spots)

Terminal_South_Cargo: FDX (5 spots)

Terminal_GA: GA


Okay so, there's your kbos_terminal.txt file.  :p  But really, what about something like that?  Or are the gates and assignments built into the physical model and therefore can't be split up?

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Well, I noticed that in the new KATL they broke each terminal into north and south sections, so that creates a little more user control, but I do not think the game mechanics allow for changing things around at the gate level.



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Well even something basic like that KATL setup I feel would be a benefit, especially at an airport like KBOS where airlines share all terminals.  It will keep them in their proper places and even if you don't know the exact gate, you know the part of the terminal they are going to.  For example, you might have some DL flights ready to come out of Terminal A and a WN flight is just rounding the corner of A onto E.  If gates 18-22 are WN only and DL is coming out of say, 15, you know you can move them simultaneously cause WN will pass by on E and DL can head right out K.  But if DL and WN are just set to Terminal A, they could be going anywhere.  Of course, by the time WN gets to E you should know what gate they are going into but still, adds to realism.  :)


Personally, I feel the main reason for splitting up terminals at KBOS is for Cape Air (aka - the bane of my existence in T!2011.  Lol).  They are based out of Terminal C but ALL go through C27, though they may have several aircraft on the ground at any time.  Jetblue is a monster at KBOS, having taken over almost all of Terminal C so having them AND Cape Air with it's half dozen or more C402's that are normally all parked at just one of it's gates, as well as ASA and VRD on 40-42, Terminal C would EASILY be overburdened at an given moment and many flights may not even show up for lack of gate space.  One thought would be to make that area around C27 like a small GA ramp with several spots and dedicate it just to Cape Air.  Another would be utilizing the overflow parking area just to the east of South Cargo - there are several GA type parking spots at the end of the Fedex complex.


The other terminals aren't that much of a big deal and it's mostly for realism.  Terminal E is international; Terminal A is basically Delta, Delta Connection and Southwest, Terminal B is primarily American and United and while it would be nice to split off B1-3 for Jazz, B5,7,the 9's, 11 and 13 for the old US Airways express carriers it's not as big of a deal as that Cape Air fleet mashed into one Terminal C gate.  Just my 2 cents  :)


~ John


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So I decided to take a drive to Logan Airport for a little planespotting and did a video.  I also discovered some interesting ground control details that I was unaware of, some of which may be of interest for the design of KBOS for Tower!3D.  :)


First, taxiway E is used to bring traffic into the ramp area: Terminal B south pier (the old US Airways where I used to work), Terminal A and South Cargo (Fedex).  Taxiway K is for traffic outbound from that ramp.  Taxiways A & B however, are not necessarily used in the same manner as one might expect (like KJFK seems to use, A running clockwise and B running counter-clockwise.  I have seen (not in this video) instances of traffic taxiing on A & B in the same direction, almost side by side (slightly offset to allow for wing clearance).  So for the designers, aircraft at KBOS seem to have the ability to travel in either direction on those taxiways, depending on what ATC has planned.


Apparently those pads in the middle of the ramp area between Terminals B (north pier) & C and Terminals C & E are where all aircraft are pushed prior to exiting the ramp.  having this as a common pushback area for ALL those gates would certainly make KBOS a real challenge during peak times as ALL traffic in and out of those ramp areas have to pass through that one point.  Twice in this video, we see aircraft taxi left to right on B, turn around at A2 and then right to left on A to hold short C, because of departing aircraft exiting the ramp.  SCX (24:06 - 31:00) has to wait for AAL and NKS .. and NKS (1:07:26 - 1:15:10) waits for VRD.  That will certainly make for some interesting decisions.  Personally, knowing NKS was heading in, I would have held off pushing VRD until they were in.


Terminal C by the way, if I'm not mistaken, the gates that are along the outer edges of the "T's" pushback right onto Taxiway A.  Just something else to screw with ground traffic.  :p


Finally, all international arrivals at KBOS go to terminal E .. after which they may be towed to their official terminal for departure.  This is true of domestic airlines like Delta and American whose international flights arrive at E and then are towed to terminals A and B respectively .. and also some foreign carriers like Aer Lingus which departs from terminal C.  Most airlines based outside the US do arrive and depart from terminal E but the idea of having them towed to different terminals for departure - might be something to consider in the next version.  ;)


And one funny note: I was watching Flightaware to monitor arrivals and I waited forever for the last arrival coming in 15R before running back to the B/C area (it seemed to have the most activity), only to see it was a stinking C172!  Lol


Anyway, enjoy the scenery!  Note: the video includes some shots of the drive into Boston, through part of the Big Dig and the Callahan Tunnel into the airport; then a drive around all the terminals before the actual aircraft footage above the Terminal B Garage and Central Parking.  To skip those parts:

04:00    Start of terminal drive
12:28    Start of spotting from the roof


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Glad you liked it .. my first time - with video that is.  I'll do better next time  (Ha!)  I actually parked at Wonderland and rode the blue line down there .. only $5 to park for 14 hours (as opposed to parking at KBOS which is closer to $100/second - eyeroll).  I love that spot in central parking, just to the right of the tower!  Too bad they flipped runways just after I got there!  They WERE going out 33L and 27 and landing on 33L but soon switched to 33R and 9.  Weird too, hardly any wind but thinking maybe they're still not finished the work on 4R/22L.  I know they were repaving it and working on the approach lighting but not sure if it's been reopened yet.

Gona have to get out again when terminal E is more, "involved."  :)

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