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Scenery Review: VQPR Paro International Airport XP12 by Cami De Bellis

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Scenery Review: VQPR Paro International Airport XP12 by Cami De Bellis

By Nick Garlick

Every virtual pilot has that one destination, a place that beckons with the allure of adventure and the thrill of the unknown. For many, it's the quest for their personal Shangri-La, a utopia hidden amidst the digital landscapes of X-Plane. Shangri-La, a term immortalised by James Hilton in his 1933 novel “Lost Horizon”, speaks of an earthly Eden, untouched by time and far removed from the chaos of modern life. But what if such a place existed not just in literature but within the very confines of your flight sim world?

Enter Bhutan, a landlocked gem nestled in the eastern Himalayas. A realm where the concept of time feels abstract, as if you're miles away from yesterday and yet, just a step shy of tomorrow. Bhutan, with its monasteries perched on cliff edges and valleys echoing with ancient folklore, feels like a page straight out of Hilton's masterpiece. And at the heart of this enigmatic nation lies our destination: VQPR Paro International Airport. An airport that promises not just a flying challenge but a journey into a world that celebrates serenity, culture, and nature's unbridled beauty.




Cami De Bellis of CDB Sceneries has been a beacon in the X-Plane community since 2008. Her dedication to creating realistic and immersive sceneries shines through in this rendition of VQPR. This airport, initially released around six years ago, has undergone several updates. The most recent one, as of June 2023, brought further refinements, including corrections to certain objects and the addition of more dynamic elements like ground traffic vehicles and vegetation.

So, fasten your seat belts as we embark on this virtual adventure, exploring the nuances, challenges, and charms of VQPR Paro International Airport for X-Plane 12.

Install & Documentation
Stepping into the world of VQPR Paro International Airport starts with a straightforward installation process. Once you've extracted the contents from the zip file, it's as simple as copying the folder named 'VQPR_Paro_Bhutan V3' and pasting it into your XP12 custom scenery directory. However, a crucial point to note is the dependency on Cami’s CDB Library V2.6. While the scenery package is more compact without this library, it's essential for the full experience. For ease of access, the accompanying manual provides a direct hyperlink to this library found at the Org. If you're new to this wonderful community, creating an account might be necessary to access this file.

Documentation comes in the form of an easy-to-follow single PDF, and whilst it primarily offers installation instructions, it also provides guidance on how to get the most out of the scenery. Though brief, it covers all the essential points and is well worth reading.



Main Airport - VQPR Paro International
Nestled amongst the rugged contours of the Paro Valley, VQPR Paro International Airport is a beacon of modernity set against a backdrop of ancient mountains. The airport's location presents not just visual allure but an undeniable challenge to pilots. Its reputation as one of the world's most demanding airports is well-deserved, as the approach into VQPR is fraught with challenges, made even more intense by the sudden gusts of wind that can veer an aircraft off its course.




Only a handful of real-world pilots boast the qualification to land here. Their number is so limited that they could be counted on one's fingers, perhaps with a toe or two to spare. The airport's altitude, sitting almost as high above sea level as its runways are long, adds another layer to its complexity. With a runway length of 6,500ft and an altitude of 7,300ft, even a cursory glance at the airport charts underscores the challenges posed.




X-Plane's default mesh does a reasonable job at recreating the intimidating terrain that envelops the Paro valley. This serves as more than just a picturesque backdrop; it's a constant reminder of the flying challenge that awaits would-be pilots.


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Ground Markings 
The runway textures at the airport, whilst of decent quality, come off as slightly too pristine. While they feature the expected rubber marks from landings, a touch more weathering could have added to their realism, given the wear and tear runways typically experience. In contrast, the taxiways do exhibit weathering, enhancing their authentic appearance, as does the apron and the surrounding areas close to the maintenance buildings.  


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Main Terminal and Adjacent Structures
The main terminal of Paro International Airport is a blend of modern functionality and traditional Bhutanese architecture. Intricately carved wooden cornices, vibrant patterns, white walls, and a multi-coloured sloped roof reminiscent of Bhutan's fortresses (Dzongs) set the terminal apart. 


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Directly in front of the terminal is a car park, catering to both short-term and long-term parking needs. A frequent sight here are the local buses, waiting to ferry passengers to nearby towns and landmarks, all faithfully reproduced to enhance realism. 


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Bustling Environment
Cami's trademark use of 3D characters is prominently showcased in this scenery. From locals in traditional attire to bustling passengers and diligent airport staff, the variety is commendable. Together, these diverse figures, albeit static, breathe life into the scenery, replicating the vibrant atmosphere typically associated with international airports. The inclusion of such details not only adds depth to the environment but also enhances the immersion for virtual pilots.


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Surrounding Area
The allure of VQPR Paro International Airport doesn't end at its runways; it extends to the rich tapestry of landscapes and landmarks that envelop it. Unfortunately, X-Plane’s dated ground textures fail to do this part of the scenery justice, so I highly recommend using Ortho4XP or AutoOrtho to increase the realism. 

While the scenery captures the essence of Bhutan's beauty, it's important to note that certain iconic structures close to the airport, like the Paro Taktsang monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest, are not part of this rendition, as the coverage does not extend that far. However, the Rinpung Dzong or 'Fortress of Heap of Jewels is included in the package and is beautifully represented.


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While the scenery largely succeeds in capturing Bhutan's unique allure, there are a few distinct areas that could benefit from further refinement. Firstly, while the landscape mostly blends seamlessly with X-Plane's default mesh, some inconsistencies are evident, especially in the surrounding hills and slopes. Secondly, expanding the ortho-photo coverage would lessen the jarring contrast between X-Plane's somewhat dated default ground textures and Cami's finely modelled structures. Lastly, incorporating X-Plane 12's advanced capabilities, such as its new 3D trees and vegetation, could elevate the level of immersion and authenticity, although this would understandably require additional development effort.


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Night Lighting

As evening settles over VQPR Paro International Airport, Cami's attention to lighting comes to the forefront. The aprons, taxiways, and runways are well-lit, making after-dark operations straightforward. While the airport's windows rely on baked lit textures rather than dynamic lighting, the effect is still convincing. It adds a layer of realism that enhances the overall atmosphere, especially in low light conditions.


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Exploring the vast horizons of the X-Plane universe reveals many hidden gems, and Cami's rendition of VQPR Paro International Airport in Bhutan undoubtedly shines among them. This scenery captures the very essence of Bhutan, a country synonymous with tranquillity, spiritual richness, and breathtaking landscapes. While many sceneries boast of high-resolution textures and an overload of pixel-perfect details, Cami's work stands out for its balance. The focus isn't on mere visual spectacle but on creating a genuine, immersive experience. VQPR is a delightful blend of simplicity and authenticity, emphasizing the serene charm of Bhutan while leveraging some of X-Plane 12's advanced features.

However, just like any other scenery, there's always potential for growth. Whilst the custom buildings and landmarks mostly work well with X-Plane's default terrain, enhancing this integration could resolve some glaring inconsistencies, especially on uneven terrain like hills and slopes. Furthermore, the scenery's authenticity could be elevated by the addition of higher-resolution ortho-photos or even the use of photo-realistic textures. In the same vein, tapping into the advanced capabilities of X-Plane 12, such as its new 3D trees and vegetation, could offer an even more refined and immersive experience.



But these suggestions don't overshadow the undeniable allure of this scenery. Cami's VQPR offers virtual pilots not just a landing challenge but an invitation to explore a country that celebrates happiness as a state policy. It's a journey into a world where the modern meets the ancient, where nature's raw beauty intertwines with rich cultural heritage. For those seeking a serene escape coupled with a flying challenge, VQPR Paro International Airport is an unmissable destination. As we await more such adventures from the talented Cami De Bellis, this rendition of VQPR stands as a testament to her dedication to the X-Plane community.


So, until the next virtual adventure beckons, it's a heartfelt 'Pip, Pip, Tally Ho!' from me.






VQPR Paro Intl Airport, Bhutan, XP12 by Cami De Bellis is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here:


VQPR Paro Intl Airport, Bhutan, XP12

Priced at $19.95



  • Exact reproduction 3D of the airport buildings, houses, hangars, Dzong, Pagodas and others 
  • Detailed textures and custom objects
  • Reproduction of staff and local people 3D
  • Hand placed 3D trees 
  • Volumetric grass
  • Complete reconstruction of the airport's lighting equipment
  • Detailed ground markings
  • Custom night lighting 
  • Many Animations in and around airport
  • Very detailed 3D Models covering the whole airport
  • Ground Traffic by Marginal



X-Plane 12  
Windows, Mac, or Linux
4 Gb VRAM Minimum. 8 Gb+ VRAM Recommended
CDB-Library is required
Current version 3.0 (June 15th, 2023)


Review System Specifications

Windows 10, Intel 4790K liquid-cooled, overclock to 5GHz, 32GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM, Nvidia GTX 1070ti, Titanium HD Audio Card.



Scenery Review by Nick Garlick
19th October 2023
Copyright©2023: X-Plane Reviews


(Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copying of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions).




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  • Dominic Smith changed the title to Scenery Review: VQPR Paro International Airport XP12 by Cami De Bellis

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