AVSIM Commercial FSX Scenery Review

Norman Manley Intl. Airport, Jamaica

Product Information

Publishers:  Latin VFR

Description: Airport add-on.

Download Size:
84 MB - FSX, 38 MB - FS9

Format:
Download
Simulation Type:
FSX & FS9
Reviewed by: Philip Wilson AVSIM Staff Reviewer - February 18, 2010

Introduction

Norman Manley International Airport (IATA: KIN, ICAO: MKJP), formerly Palisadoes Airport, is an airport serving Kingston in Jamaica. As well as Sangster International Airport, it is a hub of Air Jamaica. It was named in honor of Norman Washington Manley. There are over 130 international flights a week that depart from Norman Manley International Airport. The airport is located on the Palisadoes tombolo in outer Kingston Harbor; it fronts the city on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other. (Source: Wikipedia)

NMIA AIRPORTS LIMITED is a wholly owned subsidiary of Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) which was incorporated in 2003. The Airport is operated under a 30-year Concession Agreement with AAJ, and is held to specific performance targets.

The Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) is located on a picturesque peninsula twenty minutes from Kingston’s business center. It is bordered by the seventh largest natural harbor of the world and is one of Jamaica’s global gateways. The Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) is the primary airport for business travel to and from Jamaica and for the movement of air cargo.

Norman Manley International Airport - "The Gateway to the world" - The Norman Manley International Airport plays a critical role in the economic development of Jamaica, and is the premier gateway to the nation's capital, Kingston. The airport caters to over 1.7 million passengers, with an approximate 4% average growth rate and handles over 70 percent (17 million kgs) of the Island's airfreight. The airport business network is comprised of over 70 companies and government agencies, with over 3,500 persons directly employed at the Airport. (Source: NMIA)

The real MKJP (Courtesy NMIA)

Installation, Documentation and Support


The installation is relatively simple and straightforward. From LatinVFR’s products page you can choose to view the MKJP product information page, or purchase either the FSX or FS9 version. Clicking on the “Purchase” tab takes you to SimMarket for the actual transaction. You will receive a download link to the 84MB (38MB for FS9) file.

Run the application, load up your version of FS and fly. I do recommend Vista users right click on the .Exe file and select Run as Administrator.

In these economic times, choosing what products to spend your hard earned money on can come down to price. At $26.53USD, about the cost of an inexpensive lunch for two, you can have a product that will last a lot longer than anything on the menu.

From the MKJP product page, we see your new airport will contain:

• The most accurate and impressive rendition of Kingston’s, Norman Manley (MKJP) ever released.
• Airport buildings and terminals completely designed with the most accurate attention to detail.
• Animated wildlife including birds, dolphins and more. (FSX only)
• New 3D grass techniques to bring the airport environment to life.
• All airport surroundings completely modeled accurately.
• Hundreds of hand placed auto-generated scenery for all of the photo-scenery area.
• Photo realistic ground textures for the area of downtown Kingston and Port Royal.
• Photo-realistic textures on the buildings.
• Excellent night effects.
• Fully AI compatible, with their respective AFCAD for FS2004 and FSX.
• Excellent frame rates.
• Numerous static objects, pushback trucks, stairs, containers, etc.
• Custom vehicle traffic and animations.
• Countless ships in Kingston Harbor, numerous airport vehicles.
• Tinsen Pen aerodrome (MKTP) customized, and correctly placed.
• Mesh for the entire island of Jamaica
• Land class for the region of Kingston

Following your successful installation you will find a huge transformation from the default MKJP.

Extreme Airport Makeover. On the left is the before shot, and on the right, the after shot.

Documentation consists of a nine page PDF manual (1.1MB) and eleven navigation charts (2.24MB). All the charts are PDF’s ranging from 55kb to 194kb. What impressed me was they are all scanned images of actual Jeppesen charts. Although NOT TO BE USED FOR REAL WORLD NAVIGATION, they give you everything you need to fly real SID and STAR procedures.

The PDF manual is somewhat minimal, but…it does contain a plethora of information on Norman Manley Intl. Airport, including airline and cargo providers and gate assignments. I hasten to add, as I mentioned in LatinVFR’s MROC review, a substantial manual would be unnecessary given the product.

List of Airlines serving MKJP MKJP Airport Diagram

Textures

This is where the MKJP product starts to lose its glamour. In order to offer you a comprehensive review I must present the good and the bad equally. Unfortunately there are more disappointing areas than positive ones. I have numerous freeware scenery packages that offer a higher quality product than this title from LatinVFR. One very important note here; based on earlier titles, I have a lot of respect for the LatinVFR team and it is with great sadness I include the following images.

Terms of Use and Copyright information visible on the textures Terrible scenery borders Disappointing textures
Building alignment incorrect Oil refinery textures are a mess Poor scenery borders
Check-in area Who designed this building? Burger King anyone?

In my opinion, a payware product should have a much higher level of quality than what I saw here. In previous reviews I have voiced my thoughts on using photo-scenery. Unless it is done with great care and the utmost attention to detail, it will be more disappointing than not including the area at all.

There were positive scenery areas here, but their texture quality was average at best. I’ll add some additional screenshots below to show you some of the better areas.

Nice ramp concrete textures Main concourse Speed limit 20km/h
Nice tower Orange cones on the tarmac Nice reef scenery

Night Textures

Several products from LatinVFR have wonderful night textures; unfortunately this title does not carry on that tradition. The night lighting does not have the same level of quality the MROC product does, and in some areas is borderline adequate.

Airline ramp night scenery Notice the floodlight effect is on the wrong side
Cargo and airline ramps have authentic lighting colors City night lighting is out of place on the photo scenery

Support

LatinVFR has a well deserved reputation for great customer service, and regardless of the issues I have noted with this particular product, I feel they are a great group of people who are trying to create and manage a quality set of scenery add-on products for FS9 and FSX. Like any company on earth, they will have great products and some that aren’t so great. This add-on unfortunately falls in the later category.

Test System

Dell XPS720 DuoCore2.66MHz
Windows Vista Ultimate 64bit
4Gb RAM 667MHz
nVidia 9800GTX+512M
SB X-Fi Extreme Music
CH Fighterstick, Yoke, Throttles and Rudder
FEX, UTX, GEX MyTraffic2010

Flying Time:
30 hours

Performance

Any commercial add-on scenery product will suffer when compared to the stock scenery. I’m happy to report the performance drop is minimal with an 8-10 fps being the greatest hit I saw with everything at 100% on my system.

Summary / Closing Remarks

The Norman Manley Intl. Airport from LatinVFR is the best rendition of this airport available for FS, but unfortunately the use of photo ground textures and lack of attention to detail were the contributors to this products downfall.

 

What I Like About MJKP

  • Price
  • Photo real building, taxiway and runway textures
  • Minimal effect on frame rates
  • Great Technical Support

 

What I Don't Like About MJKP

  • Blurry ground detail surrounding airport and additional areas covered by this product
  • Warped textures on several buildings
  • Poor use of photo textures
  • Night lighting

 

Printing

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Norman Manley International Airport, Jamaica

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The review above is a subjective assessment of the product by the author. There is no connection between the product producer and the reviewer, and we feel this review is unbiased and truly reflects the performance of the product in the simming environment as experienced by the reviewer. This disclaimer is posted here in order to provide you with background information on the reviewer and any presumed connections that may exist between him/her and the contributing party.

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