Inverness Airport
For FSX/P3D/P3DV2 Published by SIM720
Reviewed by Brian Buckley
August 2014

Introduction - A Brief History

So here is the third review of SIM720 Scottish airports and this time we are at Inverness (EGPE), the capital of the Highlands of Scotland.

The site of Inverness Airport was originally identified as being suitable for aircraft operations with hard runways in the 1930s by Captain Ted Fresson, the pioneer of aviation in the Highlands and Islands. The existing airport dates from World War II when it was developed by the RAF, and since 1947 it has served as the principal civil airport in the region.

Today, the Inverness Airport site in HIAL's ownership extends to 185 hectares. It is bounded to the north by Dalcross Industrial Estate and farmland, and to the south by farmland, land comprising part of the Inverness Airport Business Park joint venture, and the Inverness-Aberdeen railway. The airport's western and eastern boundaries are farmland.

Over the preceding decades, a number of changes have occurred to the site, including the lengthening of the main runway, and the construction of a new air traffic control tower, fire station, engineering base, and offices. The terminal building is in its third incarnation following the opening of the current facility in 1999. In more recent years, developments have included new car parks, the installation of upgraded navigational aids, additional apron space to accommodate higher volumes of air traffic, and the construction of Inverness Airport Way linking the airport with the A96 trunk road to the south of the airfield. Substantial environmental works have also been completed to treat run off water from the runways, taxiways and aprons.

Today, the main developed area of the airport is centred around the passenger terminal building on the north side of the airport estate and includes car parks, offices, stores, airport fire station, engineering base, and hangars. Airside infrastructure, including aprons, taxiways, runways, and airfield ground lighting, is located airside to the south of this area and extends almost to the airfield's southern boundary line where the air traffic control tower is located.

Inverness Airport lies approximately 7 nm to the north-east of the city and in 2013 saw 607,266 passengers, passing through the terminal (courtesy of www.airportwatch.org.uk/?page_id=4226 ). It is small in comparison to some of the major airports around the UK but still quite busy nonetheless.

Check In Area

Availability, Installation and Documentation

Inverness Airport is available from SIM720 and SIM720 product resellers as a 'download only' product for £15.99 + VAT (£19.19 incl vat). Presently, there is no boxed version available, however, some resellers offer a master back-up CD / DVD service for a nominal fee. The download file is 766MB in zip file format and it took my system 9 minutes to download. Bearing in mind I am not on a cable connection, this was very good, for me at least. As with all the airports from SIM720, prior to installation, you need to obtain a registration key and a digitally signed copyright agreement, which are sent to you by email from SIM720.

Once unzipped to a temporary folder, I ran the installation, which took approximately 2 - 3 minutes, whereupon the user gets the choice of which flight simulator version to install, either the FSX version or the Prepar3D version. I installed the FSX version which is a file size of 950MB.

A separate program enables the user to enable or disable certain aspects of the airport's scenery, such as, static objects, seasonal grasses, and product compatibility. An icon for this program is placed on the user's desktop during the scenery's installation process. It is very simple to use and I found the settings in the panel below, worked best for me and the system I have.

SIM720 EGPE Inverness Airport has been designed to work as a standalone product. Using the supplied control panel, you can select what you want the photorealistic area to be colour matched to. In EGPE Inverness Airport you have the option of choosing Default FSX, Orbx FTX Scotland, or Horizon VFR. Just simply pick what you want. EGPE Inverness Airport is also DX10 compatible.

Scenery Coverage and Level of Detail

Features include:
    photorealistic layout and textures (25cm resolution within airport boundaries and 60cm resolution outside the boundaries);
    high resolution ground polygons;
    hand placed high resolution buildings within airport boundaries;
    extensive library of airport clutter;
    accurate taxiways;
    custom made static aircraft;
    custom night lighting and improved runway lights;
    3D grass;
    compatible with default FSX, Orbx, and Horizon sceneries;
    DX10 compatible; and
    installs into FSX and P3D.

Area Covered

Area Covered. As I have already covered Stornoway Airport and Oban Airport from SIM720, I was keen to get a look-see at Inverness Airport, this being my home airport. First impressions were good. The team have covered a good swathe of land, covering the airfield and outer reaches. Although not as far as Inverness city unfortunately. With 25 cm resolution within the airport boundary and a resolution of 60 cm outside the boundaries, Inverness Airport and the area covered knits almost seamlessly into FTX EU Scotland.

Below are the comparison screenshots, between default and the SIM720 Inverness Airport and also the airport chart supplied with the product download.

Default Inverness

SIM720 Inverness

Seasonal Variation. Again, I revisited the SIM720 Control Panel, and then took a series of screenshots as per the settings shown in the Control Panel screenshot above. The actual hue changes are not as near the real world hues as I personally would like them to be. There could also be a more dramatic change for the winter hues in my opinion. Inverness Airport does suffer greatly from lying snow during the winter months, but I found it difficult to replicate this and found it impossible to get a decent covering of snow on the airport itself.





Buildings and Objects

Inverness Airport has a terrific amount of airport clutter and plenty of people dotted around the confines of the airport. The detail on some of these is extremely good and it is possible to see the team at SIM720, have used photographic textures for many of the static objects. Although, I did spot a few items which do not belong at Inverness, or indeed the Highlands. I also believe some of the static folk have more than one job, as I'm sure I've spotted the same folk at Stornoway and Oban Airports. I suppose in these austere times, people have to take the work where they can find it. That said, it is rather comforting to see some old faces knocking about, as well as some new ones, ranging from passengers to airport crew and staff.

Ramp Staff


Aircraft Maintenance Engineer

Maintenance Crew

Most, if not all, of the buildings have been given the SIM720 treatment and some have photo real textures on them, as you can see from the screenshots below. The actual buildings in the immediate airport complex are very well done, as are the buildings within the extremely busy retail park to the north of the airport. SIM720 have again replicated another airport in exacting detail and if you look carefully enough, you can also find references to SIM720 dotted around the airport.

Fire Station - Front

Fire Station - Rear

Maintenance Hangar

Fuel Storage

Retail 1

Retail 2

The main airport terminal has been replicated extremely well and it represents a true vision of the real world terminal at Inverness Airport. This is a tricky building to draw due to the curved roof, but the guys at SIM720 have pulled it off.



Taxi Rank


Tower Complex

Tower View

As my screenshots portray, SIM720 have done a great job with the various buildings and requisite objects around Inverness Airport. There are literally hundreds of other objects dotted around the airport but they are for you to find. As a whole, I found the airport smacks of a well oiled machine, despite some of the oddities. These oddities did not ruin my overall experience of Inverness Airport but I will share some of them with you.

Whoops 1
Lothian buses only run on the roads around Edinburgh and surrounding areas. Moreover, at the present time, there is no ocean terminal in Inverness, as far as I am aware. The service which takes you to Inverness Airport is the Jet Bus run by Stagecoach, which runs hourly throughout the day. Whoops!
Next up is maybe not an anomaly rather than a missed opportunity by SIM720. This bare patch of grass nestles within the confines of the retail park, to the north of the airport. In reality, it houses Inverness' only aircraft museum, Highland Aviation Museum. Again, although this omission does not impair the use of the airport, I feel it would have been very nice to have had it included in this download.

Whoops 2

Whoops 3
On a more serious note is this misalignment of the A96, which runs from Inverness to Aberdeen, routing through Nairn onwards. I'm not sure what has happened here and it's the only hiccup I could find with the roads. This is part of the boundary of the airport and is at the eastern end of the airfield. I'm sure it is easily rectified.


Inverness Airport does have a certain degree of night lighting, although I have to admit to being slightly disappointed in the overall lighting department. As you can see in the screenshots below, the runway and taxiway lighting is as you would expect to find at an airport and is quite acceptable. The PAPI lights are very good and worked perfectly on each approach as they are supposed to. The one thing I am beginning to discover with SIM720 airports is the lighting of the terminal and other buildings within the airport vicinity is done in such a way that it looks as though there is light on the inside and it looks as though you can actually see through the windows. My main concern with lighting at Inverness Airport is the wash from the tall lights on the apron. The lighting, for me, just does not look realistic. Having said that, there are some other standard height lamps which have a more realistic effect. Judge for yourself.

Realistic Lighting

Harsh Lighting

Final Approach RWY 05

Final Approach RWY 23

As you can see, there is something not quite right with the downwash from the tall lights, but the effect of the smaller street lamps is quite realistic.


I found with my settings set as per the suggested settings in the manual, I was achieving very good frame rates. With my system and setup, I was getting well in excess of 30fps and sometimes getting as high as between 45 and 50fps. In my opinion, this is more than adequate for a smooth flight. The settings I used were exactly as in the manual, as seen below.

Settings 1

Settings 2

With these settings, you too should be able to achieve acceptable frame rates, but it obviously depends very much on what your system specifications are. The specifications of my system are at the end of this review should you wish to compare my system with yours. My system was top of the range when I built it, but it is far from that now and yet, I still achieved very good frame rates and no stuttering. If your system is letting you down when it comes to frame rates, drag the sliders to the left a little until you reach acceptable frame rates.

Value for Money

With Inverness Airport being the capital of the Highlands, it is the perfect base for exploring further north and onto the Orkney and Shetland Isles. At just £15.99 + VAT (£19.19 incl VAT), it really is worth adding it to your scenery library. Inverness Airport is now serving as a hub for flights throughout the UK and even into Europe. If you already own Stornoway and Oban Airports by SIM720, it really is the next logical step to get Inverness downloaded and into your scenery library. It is also the ideal base for a budding 'Air Hauler' operation also. Now where did I put my copy of 'Air Hauler'?


Inverness Airport is compatible with FSX, P3Dv1 and P3Dv2. It has been designed to be compatible with default FSX, Horizon VFR Scenery, and Orbx FTX: EU Scotland. You can choose which version you wish to use, on the Inverness Airport Control Panel. Inverness Airport is also DX10 compatible.

Technical Requirements

The technical requirements for SIM 720 Inverness Airport are as follows:
    Microsoft Flight Simulator X (SP2, Acceleration Pack or Gold Edition) or Lockheed Martin Prepar3D (v1 or v2);
    Windows XP, Windows VISTA, Windows 7, Windows 8 (Windows 7 64 Bit recommended);
    3.0GHz processor (Dual Core processor recommended);
    4GB RAM;
    1024MB 3D graphics card (minimum); and
    64 Bit operating system highly recommended.

Review Computer Specifications

The specifications of the computer on which the review was conducted are as follows:
    ASUS P8Z77-V motherboard;
    Intel i7 3.4Ghz 'Sandybridge';
    16GB, DDR3, Corsair Vengeance, 1600MHz RAM;
    Geforce, GTX 570SC, 1280MB, graphics card;
    500GB, WD Velociraptor - OS;
    128GB, Corsair Force 3 SSD - FSX;
    1.5TB flight simulator add-ons;
    Matrox TripleHead2Go - 3 x 23" Acer LCD monitors; and
    Operating System - Windows 7, 64 Bit.


I realise that SIM720 are producing airports for us but it would be nice if they would generate scenery a little further than what has been done. By this I mean, with Inverness Airport it would have been nice if they had covered the city also. If you can work around the scenery anomalies which I have pointed out in this review, then I can recommend adding SIM720's Inverness Airport to your library. They have produced another fine airport for us to either fly to and from or, base ourselves at for further exploration of the Highlands and beyond. What can you buy for £19 these days? I'll wager not a great deal, so fire up your PayPal account and download Inverness Airport today for a great deal. You won't be disappointed.

Also, the support team at SIM720, are very friendly and all they want is for you/us to enjoy their products and, to this end, they are very attentive and helpful, should you need help that is.


Inverness Airport.

Inverness Airport on Wikipedia.

Highland Aviation Museum.

Verdict and Rating

Hand crafted 3D objects, buildings, static people and objects.
Excellent third party compatibility.
Very low impact on frame rates.
Value for money.

Omission of Highland Aviation Museum. (personal opinion only)
Poor, almost strange, lighting effects in places.
Ground textures are lacking depth and shading in some areas.
Regimented grass textures.

   ● Scenery Coverage : 8.0/10
   ● Level of Detail : 8.0/10
   ● Quality of Buildings: 10/10
   ● Documentation : 10/10
   ● Performance : 10/10
   ● Documentation: 8.5/10

SIM720 Inverness Airport is awarded a Mutley’s Hangar score of 9.1/10,
with an "Highly Recommended" and a Mutley's Hangar Silver Award.