Sky Haven List of Bbservations on Running a Successful Airport

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Sky Haven List of Bbservations on Running a Successful Airport

For Sky Haven players, this is a collection of things I observed as I brought my airport from 1916 to 1970. Hopefully it will help other players that got stuck somewhere.

guide

Intro

Given the amount of questions on the forums, I guess it is easier to write a guide about what I observed while taking my airport from 1916 to 1970 instead of answering questions one by one.

This is what my airport’s final balance sheet look like:

Sky Haven List of Bbservations on Running a Successful Airport

 
 

Disclaimer

This section goes through few things so you can decide if this is worth your time to read.

Q: There are no clear instructions or step by steps in this guide.
A: This guide is just a list of observations made by me while playing the game. I currently don’t have time to turn it into a how to guide.

Q: You didn’t explain this game mechanic.
A: Double check the in game manual first.

Q: I think some info in this guide is inaccurate.
A: As I said, this is my personal observation only. If you spot something glaringly wrong, put in a comment and I will try to test it out. But I make no promise on future updates.

Q: This guide is out of date.
A: I am writing it based on build 0.5.1.26. I make no promise on future updates.

 
 

List of quirks and counterintuitive thing you should know

Given the current game UI and UX is pretty convoluted, you will bound to smash your head against something that makes no sense. I listed out some of the things I smashed my head against so you don’t have to.

Copied most of the content from my demo guide on reddit, except I modified it a bit more to fit the 1970 gameplay contents.

Game Progression

  • ➤24 hours in game time equals to 2 years in tech tree time.

Construction Management

  • ➤Bulldozer button is only applicable to road and taxi ways. It does not work against runways, runway exits, ramps and buildings. Demolish road and taxi way will also not provide any refund.
  • ➤To demolish everything else, you need to 1) select it and open the structure UI, 2) then shut down the structure, 3) then wait for the building to reach “stopped” status, 4) finally click the bin button in the UI. Having to meet all those criteria means build your airport during day time while planes are flying around is almost impossible.
  • ➤Upgrade of existing buildings (definition including runway, runway exit and ramps) is not allowed in the game. Also demolish existing building will not refund the vehicles and parking upgrades you purchased.
  • ➤To reposition a building, you need to 1) select it and open the structure UI, 2) then shut down the structure, 3) then wait for the building to reach “stopped” status and exit out of structure UI, then 4) open a construction menu at the bottom (such as the one with runways, the one with buildings, or the capital improvement window), 5) then finally drag the building around by holding down the left mouse button. Yes, I know this design is messed up.
  • ➤Once paving or concrete is researched, only road gets upgraded – everything else you will need to build yourself.
  • ➤For grass and paved ramps, the plane entrance is near the top of the circle, while the exit is near the cross road at the bottom. Use this knowledge to avoid traffic jams. For the concrete ramps just followed the lines.
  • ➤Even if you put two ramps side by side, there will still be enough space between them to create a road between them.
  • ➤Despite the Steam trailer, you cannot build custom terminals like Airport CEO at the moment.
  • ➤It is very difficult to put more than one concrete runway on the map due to its size.

Vehicle Management

  • ➤The main selling point of new vehicle upgrades is to helps with the capacity, not the speed of doing things. Making things done faster is done by the personnel related research.
  • ➤Vehicles can be transferred between buildings if parking spaces are available.
  • ➤Vehicles can be deleted from game, but no refunds will be provided.
  • ➤Buses unload passengers in the same speed regardless whether it is one passenger or 20 passengers. Better buses just means less trips to the terminal to fetch the 20 passengers.
  • ➤Buses will not load passenger onto the plane until fueling, cleaning and waste services are completed. Similarly, fueling, cleaning and waste services cannot be started until all passengers are unloaded.
  • ➤Buses are the only vehicle type which is allowed to team up – meaning loading and unloading passengers are the only tasks where multiple buses can be assigned to a single job.

Research

  • ➤Total research speed is dictated by available workflow points. The less you have, the slower the research. You gain workflow points by hiring more clerks or researching relevant technology, you lose workflow points by automating cargo and fuel delivery.
  • ➤To hire more clerks, build more offices.
  • ➤All researches with descriptions about “finding better prices” will only give one time refund once completed – meaning no construction price or upkeep reductions will be provided. Same goes with any research that deals with custom terminal construction.

Building Management

  • ➤Each ramp can only be linked to one service building of each type. It cannot be linked to multiple service buildings of the same type to share the workload. So using auto-linking feature just means wipe your previous link settings.
  • ➤Regular and advanced early day airport terminal will only have one passenger gate per building, so asking 6 buses to line up to it will not significantly improve passenger on boarding and off boarding speed.
  • ➤Jet age airport terminal will only have one luggage gate per building, so asking 10 luggage cart to line up to it will not significantly improve luggage unload and load speed.
  • ➤Large barrel stock can allow one additional truck to be loaded simultaneously when compared with default barrel stock. Same goes with the Advanced Air Cargo Facility’s main selling point over the other two cargo buildings, or electric pumps’ main selling point over hand pumps, etc.

Flight Scheduling and Management

  • ➤You cannot preview the timetable of a flight contract until contract negotiation is researched.
  • ➤To start flight scheduling, you need to both sign a contract with an airline and sign a contract with the flight package you want to schedule.
  • ➤The number of flights that can share the same take off and landing time is controlled by the quality of air traffic control tower and the number of runways you have. Stacking multiple air traffic control tower don’t count.
  • ➤Each day, the scheduled flights can disappear from flight schedule without the contract being cancelled by the airline. This is by design according to dev. So to rebuild your schedule you can either break and re-sign the old flight contract or move on to new flight contracts. Rebuild your schedule early in the night or the new flights won’t come for the next day.
 
 

Technologies to research

There are too much technology related stuff for me to list so I am doing things a bit differently here.

Before 1930 rolls along, you can use this reddit demo guide on what research to prioritize.

For what technology to research after 1930, move on to the next section for more info.

Addendum

Before moving on to the next section, there are few more things I want to point out so you don’t smash your head against things that don’t make sense.

  • ➤All researches under personnel tab are worth your time. It is all about granting passive boosts on doing things faster without costing you any money.
  • ➤I honestly don’t know what makes AGS AL62 better than AGS Airlift M conveyor belt. Capacity is controlled by the luggage/cargo cart, not the belt.
  • ➤The following researches are the ones I strongly believe are 100% waste of your time. Don’t bother with them unless you are unlocking something else:
    • ➤Saurer C1 – It actually has less capacity than the Wright Omnibus S6 you unlocked previously. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    • ➤SVAM-SP2 – All it does is unlock a new stair that will prevent small planes from landing in your airport, while the old stair works just fine for all planes.
    • ➤Passenger Terminal Planning – Jet Terminal cost almost 4 times as the Advanced Early Day Terminal and it still only comes with 1 luggage gate. So you are paying 4 times as much without getting a speed upgrade on unloading/offloading luggage. And the extra passenger gate means nothing since loaded passengers are just stuck on the tarmac waiting for the luggage to load.
    • ➤Tiny Cistern for Fuel – It has 10K less fuel capacity than the Huge Barrel you unlocked earlier. :Facepalm:
    • ➤Double Cistern for Fuel – The biggest fuel delivery you can possibly receive is 35K, while the Double Cistern can hoard 120K fuel. Seriously?
    • ➤Four Lane Fuel Station – The building it unlocks just screams at you to centralize all fuel delivery services to a single point on the map, while all of your ramps are probably arranged from one end of the map to another. So basically this research is asking you to make your plane refueling speed worse for no reason.

Key progression points in game

There are two key dates you will need to prepare for, because bigger contracts will start to come in and you will need to demolish most of your airport to accommodate that.

Date 1: 1938

What is so special about this date: Four engine turboprop planes will show up (turbo in game speak), bring in contracts worth 5k to 8k per flight. Before that the best contract you can get is 2K per flight.

What needs changing in my airport around this time:

  • You need to swap everything to tarmac to receive the turbos.
  • Ramp service, catering, mobile stairs on the ramp (traps in game speak), and cargo hosting (the conveyor belt vehicle purchased on the ramp) needs to be purchased to get the high paying contracts.
  • Multiple hand pump fueling stations with three huge barrels setup is a must. You will want to receive as much fuel as possible per delivery, and three huge barrels are more than enough to take each delivery without wasting it.
  • Two offices setup with 20 clerks hired. Some of the later research requirement is a bit insane, and you need the extra workflow points for auto fuel and cargo delivery.

What are the key technologies I need to research before that date hits:

  • Airplane Service – Pump fueling, Huge Barrel, Big Service Hanger, AGS Airlift M, Diamond TF-1
  • Passenger Service – Aero Snacks, Packard Station Rooftruck, Bus operations, Stairway mounting, Willys Dispatcher Tractor
  • Personnel – Keep everything up to date as best as you can.
  • Construction – Tarmac Runway, Tarmac Stand
  • Office works – Flight Scheduling, Contract Negotiating, Flexible Contract for Fuel, Flight Management, Take or Pay Contract for Fuel.

How much investment do you need for the changes: Around 25K in cash reserve to tear up and rebuild your airport.

Date 2: 1956

What is so special about this date: Jet engine planes will start to show up (sonic in game speak), and 10k to 30k per flight contract is now a regular occurrence. Before that the most contract you can get is around 8K with only a few 10k to 20k contracts for the turbos .

What needs changing in my airport around this time:

 

  • You need to swap everything to concrete to receive the jets.
  • Cleaning, water, waste services all need to be setup.
  • Ramp service needs to move on from Big Service Hanger to get jet engine capable maintenance trucks.
  • Catering building, catering vehicles, luggage/cargo vehicles and buses also need upgrades to keep up.
  • Electric fueling stations with with new trucks are a must.
  • You need ATC Tower with Radar to make up the fact you could lose all but one runway when upgrading to concrete.
  • Passenger flights now demanding a lot of cargo too. You will need an Advanced Air Cargo Facility or two.

What are the key technologies I need to research before that date hits:

  • Airplane Service – Electric Powered Pumps, Diamond TF-10s, Ramp Service, Packard 125, Cleaning Service, Waste Treatment, Water Dispensing, Flight Dispatcher Radars, Universal Aircargo Terminal
  • Passenger Service – Air Meal Facility, Atlas-Bussing ZU1220, Wright Omnibus S6, Gradshaw T150
  • Personnel – Keep everything up to date as best as you can.
  • Construction – Concrete Runway, Concrete Stand.
  • Office works – Nothing

How much investment do you need for the changes: Around 200K in cash reserve to tear up and rebuild your airport.

 
 

How to make a profit

TL:DR version: You make money by providing as many services to as many planes as possible while encouraging them to fly away from your airport as quickly as possible. There are no other major avenues of income and anything that does not help you to achieve this principle is a waste of time and money.

List of points on how to earn more money

  • Scheduled passenger flights are the king money makers, because it almost always requires more services than cargo flights. Cram your ramps and flight schedules full of them.
  • Don’t even bother with on demand flights after 1920, period. Not only does the on demand flights dry up, you always get a significant period of lull around noon time.
  • Don’t take cargo flight contract unless the pay is really good or there is a huge gap in your flight schedule.

List of points on when to invest money or take out loans

  • Build the Wooden ATC Tower and the Early Day Passenger Terminal ASAP.
  • If a lot of planes show “no worker” status, you need more vehicles.
  • If your vehicles need to take more than two round trips to complete a job, you need upgrades instead of adding more vehicles.
  • If more than three vehicles are queuing up outside of a service building, you need another building or a building upgrade.
  • Once you hit around 10 grass ramps, prioritize adding new services to your airport instead of expanding airport size.
  • If possible, build two runways at your airport – one set for arrival only, one set for departure only.
  • If fuel or cargo runs out, get an instant delivery in ASAP.

List of points on how not to lose money

  • Don’t hoard fuel or cargo you don’t need. Keep the inventory level low when not using them.
  • Don’t buy things the juiciest contract don’t need. For example, you don’t need pavement, ramp service and catering in 1920. See previous section for more details.
  • Get flexible fuel and cargo delivery contract to buy supplies at price up to three times cheaper.
  • Before demolishing a building, transfer your vehicles out of that building first.
 
 

Chokepoints on providing plane services

If you can’t provide services fast enough to your planes, the rate of your earning will decrease and the game will notify you that the flight is getting delayed.

Before we move forward, let’s get this point out of the way:

A delayed plane is nothing to worked up about. The penalty is measured in pennies and the airline satisfaction rating don’t mean anything at the moment. As long as the planes keeps on moving in and out of the ramps like clockwork you will get your money at the end of the day.

Moving on…

However, we do want make an effort to speed up the service so we don’t have a sea of delayed planes choking up the taxiway and grind everything to a halt. This section is to highlight what are the services that will likely to delay your planes and start the chain reaction. I am ranking them from the most likely to delay your flight to the least likely so you can make an informed decision on where to devote your money and research:

Rank
Mid Game (1950)
Late Game (1970)
Personal Observation on Delay Prevention
1 (Unbalanced)
Fuel
Cargo/Luggage
Always cause delay no matter what I tried. Using the best available vehicle will always require three or more round trips to complete a job, and the best building only have one lane which means you need to put down a lot of expansive buildings to avoid long queues.
2 (Tolerable)
Passenger
Passenger
In mid-game the best building only have one lane which means you need to put down a lot of expensive buildings to avoid long queues. Also passenger will not load until a lot of other jobs are finished. Vehicle is decent in completing a job in under two trips if kept up to date.
3 (Noticeable)
Cargo/Luggage
Fuel
You will need to keep an eye out to make sure inventory don’t run out while also keep vehicles up to date. Buildings are decent in preventing queues.
4 (Piqued my interest)
Catering
Catering
You will need some effort to keep the vehicles up to date. Otherwise ignore it after buying two two lane buildings and stick four vehicles in each one.
5 (I forgot that it existed)
Everything Else
Everything Else
Buy one two lane building and stick four vehicles in it and you can forget about this thing even existed.

Causes of Delays

When a service is not being completed fast enough, it is likely due to the following five causes:

Cause
Problem Description
Solution
Not Enough Vehicles
When you have a lot of planes showing “no workers”, you got this problem.
Buy more vehicles. For fuel, passenger and luggage service, always try to keep 1 service vehicle of each type per ramp.
Not Enough Vehicle Capacity
If your vehicle is out of date, they cannot carry enough stuff to complete the job in one visit to the plane. Once your vehicle dumped their stuff, they have to run back for refills until the job is done. Also the game only assign one vehicle per job so the back and forth trip can drag the job completion time a lot.
Buy new vehicles that comes with higher capacity. Ideally you want your vehicles to complete a typical job in under 2 trips.
Not Enough Service Lanes
Each service building has a number lanes devoted to refilling vehicles. The more lanes it have, the more refills it can carry out in parallel. If the number of service lanes is too low, the service vehicle will form a long queue outside the building. And it will take forever for the vehicle to return to service while waiting for refill.
Buy more buildings or replace existing buildings with better ones so you have more service lanes available. Ideal ratio is 3 to 4 vehicles per each service lane.
Slow Job Speed
When your vehicle meets the plane and the blue progress bar takes forever to fill up, you got this problem
Keep personnel related research up to date.
Building is too Far Away
The further the distance between your service building and the target ramp, the more time it will take for the vehicle to arrive and return for refill.
Disperse your services by only using buildings that offer 2 service lanes and move them closer to the ramps.

 

 
 

Airport layout

You make money by moving planes through your airport as quickly as possible, so think in terms of racetrack pitstop.

Example Grass or Paved Airport Layout

Yellow line is the plane path, Green circle is the service building area.

Sky Haven List of Bbservations on Running a Successful Airport

Main ideas based on the layout above:

  • Use two runways to speed up landing and take off.
  • Put the ramps between the runways as pit stops.
  • Add roads between the ramps so vehicles don’t have to take long detours before reaching the target ramps.
  • Stack service building close to the ramps, just like race car mechanics.
  • Arrange taxiway in such way that all paths only have only one possible direction of travel (one way taxiway doesn’t exist in the game).

Example Concrete Airport Layout

Yellow line is the plane path, Green circles are the service building areas.

Sky Haven List of Bbservations on Running a Successful Airport

It is using the same ideas as above, except:

  • Unless you make a serious effort, only one concrete runway is possible due to map size, so a high grade ATC tower is highly recommended to make take off and landing faster.
  • Service buildings are getting quite large so I need to stack them on both sides of the ramps.
 
 

 

That’s all we are sharing today in Sky Haven List of Bbservations on Running a Successful Airport, if there are anything you want to add please feel free to leave a comment below

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