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What is airports.txt?

If you use the Windows version of FlightGear you will know that the program uses a file in your AppData folder called airports.txt. You can find that file here:

c:/Users/<YOUR USERNAME>/AppData/Roaming/

This file is the data list for the airports that the FlightGear Launch Control (FGRun) uses. It does this to save time and loads the airports from this list to make it a faster loading time than scanning the scenery every time you start the program. This means that this file is very vulnerable. Any changes to the log and a 'corrupt' airport could be loaded. This list is a direct copy of the index.txt file in:


You can always use this file as a backup for airports.txt in your AppData folder.

What to do if you cannot load airports from airports.txt in FGRun?

If you cannot load airports in FGRun, follow these steps:

  1. Open c:/Users/<YOUR USERNAME>/AppData/Roaming/ by typing this into Windows Explorer's address bar (NOT INTERNET EXPLORER!).
  2. Delete the file airports.txt.
  3. Right-click > New > New Text Document.
  4. Open the text document and close the AppData window.
  5. Open $FG_ROOT/Scenery/Airports and open index.txt.
  6. Click on the first line in index.txt and hold Ctrl-A then Ctrl-C.
  7. Move to the blank Airports.txt and press Ctrl-V.
  8. Save airports.txt and don't save index.txt.

Now you have a working airports.txt file. This will trick FlightGear into deleting the file when you press refresh in the FGRun airport selection screen and create a new file that has all of the new airports in it. Don't worry, it will take a long time for FGRun to repopulate the text file with the new airports if you have a large collection of scenery.