Almeria is a city in Andalucia, Spain, located in the southeast of Spain on the Mediterranean Sea, and is the capital of the province of the same name. Almeria Airport is the fourth largest airport in the region of Andalucia and is currently under the ownership of Enaire, who are the air navigation controllers for Spain and the Western Sahara. The other main airports in Andalucia being Malaga, Jerez, Seville and Granada.
From Almeria you can fly to Barcelona, Madrid, Melilla, Palma de Mallorca, and Seville in Spain via Vueling, Air Nostrum, and Air Berlin, or EasyJet will get you to and from London, Gatwick. In 2015, Almeria Airport handled 691,488 passengers with 10,277 flight operations. The new terminal has increased the airport's capacity to be able to handle over two million passengers a year.
Almeria is the nerve centre of the Comarca Metropolitana de Almeria and the tourist region of Almeria-Cabo de Gata-Nijar. It is surrounded on the west by the Sierra de Gador, by the Sierra Alhamilla to the north, on the east by the valley and delta of the Andarax River, and beyond, a plain that culminates in the Sierra de Cabo de Gata. To the south, its port and coastline open onto a wide bay over the Mediterranean Sea.
LEAM Almeria Airport is available from PILOT'S as a download file and is priced at €24.99 for P3D v4 (€22.99 for the FSX, FSX:SE, and P3D v3 platforms), or the equivalent on currency cross rates. Downloading Almeria Airport is just a matter of logging in to your PILOT'S account, selecting 'Your Orders', whereupon a list of your purchases appears, then choose Almeria Airport. The download size is 1.6GB and takes very little time to download and install. Due to the digital software licensing laws, you will have to create an account at PILOT'S prior to downloading LEAM Almeria Airport. This takes but a few minutes.
PILOT'S Almeria Airport covers 750 sq km including, the airport confines, Almeria city, and surrounding mountainous regions.
Even at this altitude, you can appreciate the amount of detail and area covered by the screenshot on the right. Not a huge area in the great scheme of things, but nonetheless, all the right landmarks are there should you wish to fly in and out of Almeria. The coverage stretches from the harbour at Aguadulce to the west of Almeria, to Playa Torre Garcia to the east, and from the coast to the northern boundaries of the Paraje Natural Sierra Alhamilla hills.
PILOT'S LEAM Almeria Airport includes the following features:4K resolution;
Having a photographic scenery backdrop to Almeria Airport adds to the whole realism of this scenery add-on. Almeria Airport has been developed with an accurate feel and blends beautifully within the Orbx FTX Europe region scenery. All the main buildings and airport objects have been modelled, including some very well detailed textures and ambient occlusion. The textures used for the apron and runways are excellent, showing great detail at 50 cm/px, and wear and tear is evident over the whole airport which gives it that 'well used' look and feel.
Likewise, the runway textures are superb, complete with worn edges, tyre skid marks, and grooves along its length. It is complete with 3D modelled PAPI lights, although at close-up inspection the PAPI lights did not line up correctly. The remainder of the airport, including both airside and landside, has been modelled beautifully. From the ubiquitous airport clutter to the viewing terrace, complete with 3D modelled people. There are even puddles of water on the runway, but you would need to be in avatar mode to see them. The textures are again, very good indeed. There are also numerous animated personnel and various types of airport vehicles around the airport, which add to the immersion factor of this airport and all of these have been modelled and textured very well.
Seasonal Variation. As Almeria is considered as a desert region of Spain, you would be fairly unlucky to get snow there. Consequently, there is very little variance in the seasonal textures in this add-on.
The buildings and airport objects have been modelled to a high standard and are indicative of the real world buildings at Almeria Airport. It is obvious that there has been a high degree of on-site investigation taken by the team, including hours of photography and notes taken. The buildings have been accurately placed, apart from one area I noticed, the Medgaz depot at the eastern end of the airport, which is only very slightly out. Normally you would not see it but I had a good wander about using the avatar and saw it. However, this extremely small detail is in no way detrimental to the work the team has done with Almeria Airport. It is simply the pedant in me. It is nice to see photographic textures used extensively throughout the whole region covered by the team.
It is always a joy to see that some of the buildings have been modelled internally as well as externally. The buildings which have been modelled internally in this airport have been textured very well with good use of ambient occlusion, giving the interiors light and shade. The advertising posters and signage around the airport is also very sharp and clear to read which goes a long way to making the airport believable.
Outside of the airport boundaries the team have done a superb job of peppering most of the city of Almeria with custom buildings, including many of the outlying smaller villages. Also included is a true model of the harbour, including some large ferry vessels in port. They have also included the grand Alcazaba de Almeria dating from the 10th century and superbly modelled for this add-on.
To show off the photoreal scenery, I have chosen a spot a little to the north of the stadium above. This shows the work the PILOT'S team have put in to give the best possible result for us. Further afield and included in the download are the 2 m/px photoreal covered mountains to the north of the airport.
The lighting used in Almeria is very good and all the runway, apron and approach lighting is there. The use of dynamic lighting is nicely executed and did not appear to have any detrimental effect on my system. The runway edge lighting and PAPI lights are all modelled in 3D. The airport's tall lighting is very effective and brings the airport to life during the darker hours. In addition, the roads and streets are well lit at night and if you know this area, it is not very difficult to navigate your way using the street lights as your guide.
A six page user manual is included in the download, which explains all the user needs to know. There is also 22 charts included in the download, every chart you are likely to need for Almeria Airport.
Performance using my system was excellent. There was no discernible downgrade in performance and no stuttering. My frame rates are locked at 31 fps within the sim and this was maintained throughout my time flying to, from, and around Almeria Airport. The team have optimised Almeria Airport to within an inch of its life to bring us a stable airport from which to fly. Almeria Airport is also compatible with PILOT'S FS Global Ultimate – Next Generation, and although you do not need it to be able to use Almeria Airport, it does add another level to the overall experience. Almeria Airport is also compatible with, and sits very well with Orbx FTX Global VECTOR.
At €24.99 PILOT'S LEAM Almeria airport is well worth your hard earned cash, especially if you would like to add a southern Spanish airport to your scenery library. Almeria is an ideal location to refuel or drop off your passengers and there are numerous destinations associated with Almeria. The work the team have put in to bring us Almeria Airport is immense, as there is a catalogue of custom buildings and objects to whet your appetite. Not to mention the ambient sounds of seagulls, traffic and waves crashing on the shoreline should you venture down to the beach areas.
The technical requirements for PILOT'S LEAM Almeria Airport are as follows:
Intel i5, 2.8GHz (Intel i7 highly recommended);
4GB graphics card (8GB+ highly recommended);
6GB RAM (12GB+ highly recommended);
Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10, (64bit); and
P3D v4 (separate product available for FSX, FSX:SE, and P3D v3).
The specifications of the computer on which the review was conducted are as follows:
Asus Maximus VIII Hero Motherboard;
Intel i7, 6700K, 4GHz 'Skylake';
Asus Strix GeForce GTX970 OC 4GB;
32GB DDR4, Corsair Vengeance, 3000MHz;
500GB, Corsair Force 3 SSD, Windows 10, 64bit;
2TB WD HDD, Prepar3D v4; and
1.5TB WD Sata HDD, programs.
Additional Major Add-ons. Active Sky for P3Dv4, Active Sky Cloud Art, SPAD neXt, FS Global Ultimate Next Generation, Orbx FTX Global BASE, Orbx FTX Global VECTOR, Orbx FTX Global openLC series, Orbx FTX region series, Orbx FTX airport series, and Orbx FTX Trees HD.
As there aren't a great deal of good quality Spanish airports available to the flight simmer at the moment, PILOT'S LEAM Almeria Airport should really be on your 'to buy' list if Spain is your choice of flight simming destination. In addition, the commercial businesses surrounding Almeria Airport provide a great location of business for any budding career pilots looking for a commercial base from which to ferry produce to and from. For what you get in this package, Almeria Airport is a real 'must have' airport in my opinion.