Jump to content

Scenery Review: RJBB-Kansai International Airport by Darkblue Scenery

Recommended Posts



RJBB Kansai_Header.jpg


Scenery Review: RJBB-Kansai International Airport by Darkblue Scenery


By Michael Hayward



Kansai International Airport serves as the primary gateway to the Greater Osaka Area in Japan. This remarkable airport, inaugurated 30 years ago, is uniquely situated on an island made from reclaimed land, lying 5 km offshore from Honshu. Its near-sea-level elevation of just five meters is particularly noteworthy. In the previous year, it impressively handled close to twenty-eight million passenger movements.

Darkblue Scenery, originating from China, are a modest-sized developer within the X-Plane community. Their portfolio includes a total of five airports, with Kansai being their most recent venture. As newcomers to the scene, they have ambitiously aimed to offer a diverse array of popular, yet distinct airports focused on East Asia for the platform. With an open mind about the possibilities that a new developer might bring to the bustling airports of X-Plane, let's embark on this exploration and see what Darkblue Scenery has in store!

What/Where is Kansai International Airport?

As noted earlier, Kansai International Airport was inaugurated in September 1994, conceived as a solution to the overcrowding at Itami Airport. Surrounded by a densely populated area, Itami had no room for expansion, necessitating a larger hub for the region. The construction of Kansai's man-made island began in 1987, completing in just two years, with terminal and other facilities ready five years thereafter.

Kansai International has received several Skytrax awards, acknowledging its service excellence. These awards include best airport staff in Asia and the world, best baggage reclaim, and recognition for having the longest airport terminal globally, extending 1.1 miles from end to end. Situated in a region prone to natural disasters like earthquakes and typhoons, Japan faced a severe test in 1995. The Great Hanshin Earthquake, with its epicentre only 20km away, resulted in over 6,000 deaths and extensive infrastructure damage. Remarkably, the terminal and island airport withstood the disaster without sustaining damage, a testament to its resilient design.



Upon purchasing from the X-Plane.org store, you will receive a download link for the scenery. The download process is swift, resulting in a zip file that encompasses not only the scenery but also an extra file ensuring compatibility with X-Plane 11, which is always nice to see.
The package comes with a concise instruction’s pamphlet available in English, Japanese, and Chinese. This guide details the installation steps and provides specific directions for XP11 users on replacing the Earth nav data to ensure the scenery runs smoothly on the older platform.

Structures and Facilities 

Kansai International Airport is distinguished by its unique location on two artificial islands. The first airport island spans approximately 510 hectares, hosting Terminal 1, while the second airport island, slightly larger, covers approximately 545 hectares and accommodates Terminal 2. Together, these islands combine for a total area of 1,055 hectares (2,600 acres). They are interconnected by a taxiway bridge, facilitating seamless operations between the two terminals. Access from the mainland is streamlined by a 3km bridge that connects to Rinku Town, ensuring straightforward entry and departure for passengers. 


Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 14.44.31.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 14.45.08.jpg

Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 14.46.08.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 14.46.54.jpg

Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 14.48.33.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 14.49.25.jpg


Terminal 1

Darkblue Scenery has invested considerable effort in accurately rendering Terminal 1 of Kansai International Airport, achieving impressive visual fidelity. This main passenger terminal, a sprawling four-story structure, highlights an innovative airfoil-shaped roof designed to enhance air circulation within. Constructed with steel and extensive glass exteriors, it provides expansive views of the airport's surroundings. The terminal's architecture brilliantly utilizes X-Plane 12's Physically Based Rendering (PBR) technology, capturing the nuanced shifts in daylight and the stunning hues of sunrise and sunset, thus enriching the simulation experience with its detailed and dynamic appearance.


Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 15.00.02.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 15.02.14.jpg

Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 15.33.02.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 15.31.53.jpg

Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 15.30.24.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 15.03.16.jpg


Terminal 2

In contrast, Terminal 2 features a more utilitarian design, embodying simplicity and cost-effectiveness with its single-story layout. This approach notably forgoes the need for elevators, aligning with the terminal's focus on streamlined operations. While the modelling of Terminal 2 may appear simpler compared to the grandeur of Terminal 1, this distinction reflects the real-life architectural choices, emphasizing functionality and efficiency. Despite its straightforward design, Terminal 2 is a vital component of the airport, serving as a hub for low-cost carriers and enhancing the airport's capacity to accommodate diverse passenger needs.


Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 19.58.56.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 20.01.10.jpg

Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 20.05.24.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 20.00.12.jpg

Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 20.03.36.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 20.04.15.jpg


The airport layout is thoughtfully designed to accommodate a variety of aircraft sizes, with jet bridges at each gate and larger stands equipped for multiple aircraft doors. This design is a nod to the era when both JAL and ANA operated Boeing 747s for domestic routes and underscores the airport's capacity for handling significant international traffic. 


Inside Terminal 1, the modelling is straightforward yet functional, featuring elements like walkways and benches that span the terminal's considerable length. While not the most intricate interior encountered, its design thoughtfully balances visual quality with performance. It provides sufficient detail to appreciate the airport's expansive scale from a broader perspective, without the need for an in-depth exploration.


Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 15.37.48.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 15.41.28.jpg

Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 15.35.18.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 15.36.28.jpg


Transportation options within the airport are effectively implemented, featuring shuttle trains and buses to facilitate movement between terminals, alongside a city train that extends across the bridge to the mainland. For those who prefer, there's also the option to walk between terminals. Personally, the convenience of the bus or train seems more appealing for navigating the expansive airport grounds.


Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 16.06.41.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 16.00.45.jpg

Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 16.01.53.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 16.14.22.jpg


The island housing Terminal 1 also accommodates cargo and maintenance facilities, administrative buildings, and offices, highlighting the airport's significant contribution to local cargo trade. These sections are accurately modelled to reflect their real-world counterparts, including an open hangar for aircraft parking. The vast scale of this operational hub within the airport is impressive, subtly reminding you of its unique location five kilometres offshore.


Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 17.25.59.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 17.26.59.jpg

Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 18.32.06.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 18.34.28.jpg

Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 17.24.43.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 17.23.16.jpg


The intricate network of roads and railways connecting the terminals and mainland is accurately depicted, enhancing the realism with dynamic road traffic. Additionally, the inclusion of a solar farm alongside the southern runway highlights the attention to detail, with each panel oriented for optimal sunlight exposure. The textures employed throughout the scenery are notably high in quality, with 4k resolution enhancing the clarity and legibility of building details and signage.


Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 18.36.30.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 18.43.34.jpg


Whilst there's room for improvement in the detailing of the terminal roof, the overall design is coherent and thoughtfully applied. Darkblue Scenery has put forth a commendable effort in depicting Kansai International Airport, delivering a rich and engaging experience through carefully created textures and models that span the entirety of the airport's layout.


Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 17.28.07.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 17.38.27.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 17.30.26.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 17.32.01.jpg


Taxiways and Runway 

Kansai International Airport's two runways, 06R/24L and 06L/24R, are thoughtfully integrated into the airport's layout, connected to the terminal buildings through a central pair of main taxiways and further supported by several smaller spurs. This well-designed infrastructure facilitates smooth and efficient movement throughout the airport. 


Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 19.21.03.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 19.44.50.jpg

Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 19.42.06.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 19.43.14.jpg


The runway ground textures at Kansai International Airport, like those of the terminal, are rendered in 4k resolution, significantly aiding navigation. However, it's important to point out that although the custom runway, taxiway, and general ground textures exhibit this high 4K resolution, the photographic ortho imagery for the wider airport area might not meet the same standard, often appearing somewhat muddy in comparison. Upgrading the ortho imagery to a higher resolution here would help improve the visual quality of the scenery, thereby making the scenery more immersive and engaging. 

Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 12.10.19.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 12.08.16.jpg

Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 12.07.51.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 12.14.07.jpg


The use of bump mapping introduces a subtle depth to the concrete surfaces, capturing the effects of years of exposure to water and aviation fluids. This results in a variety of marks and stains on the originally smooth, grey concrete, contributing to a realistic portrayal of wear and tear. This effect not only enhances visual depth but also adds character to the airport environment. Painted surfaces on the ground receive special treatment with a slight sheen, thanks to PBR technology. This is carefully balanced, avoiding an over polished look, and instead mimics the subtle lustre of newly painted surfaces.


Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 19.58.45.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 12.05.17.jpg

Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 12.06.42.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 20.03.51.jpg

Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 12.01.47.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-28 19.59.43.jpg


Night Effects
Nighttime at Kansai International Airport highlights the considerable effort Darkblue Scenery has put into their work, with their commitment becoming particularly evident after dusk. The runway lights transform the approach into a vivid guide through the darkness, prominently marking the airport against the ocean's expanse. This design ensures the airport stands out as a beacon on its island, a feature further enhanced by the taxiways' green central lights. These lights provide essential guidance to pilots navigating to their gates, especially useful amidst Japan's often unpredictable weather.


Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 14.07.42.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 13.53.51.jpg

Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 14.03.35.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 13.53.02.jpg


Each parking stand is effectively illuminated, thanks to strategically placed floodlights near each jetbridge, complemented by ambient light emanating from the terminal buildings. This implementation of X-Plane 12's dynamic lighting enhances the visual appeal significantly, creating a scene that is both visually striking and authentic. The airport's lighting envelopes the infrastructure and pathways to the mainland in a soft orange halogen glow. The careful placement of each light source enhances the visual appeal, creating a nighttime ambiance that's both vibrant and welcoming, even in the absence of bustling crowds.


Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 14.09.42.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 14.10.34.jpg

Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 14.13.44.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 14.16.21.jpg



While the terminal's lighting is both bright and extensive, it doesn't fully shine through the transparent textured glass windows as ideally expected. This shortfall is slightly disappointing, particularly given the careful placement of spotlights within the departure lounge, an effect that regrettably does not project well to an observer from the cockpit. However, an ambient orange glow from the terminal's service vehicle underpass subtly conveys the internal dynamics.


Additionally, the use of older lighting techniques, such as baked-on lit textures, is noticeable, particularly in the office windows. This approach, while historically effective, presents a stark contrast to the more dynamic lighting used elsewhere, highlighting a mix of lighting styles within the airport's design. The maintenance facilities continue to contribute to the airport's nighttime allure, with industrial areas enveloped in stark white light. The hangar, bathed in light from roof-mounted spotlights, emphasizes the operational scale and significance of these zones.


Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 14.01.05.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 14.25.19.jpg

Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 14.23.22.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 14.19.37.jpg



Performance-wise, Kansai International Airport proved to be impressively smooth, holding up well even when faced with challenging weather scenarios. The only instance of a noticeable decrease in frame rates occurred during night operations, which may have been influenced, in part, by the presence of Traffic Global. 


Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 14.29.16.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 14.31.54.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 14.52.23.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 14.54.15.jpg

Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 14.55.40.jpgCessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 14.50.49.jpg


Opinion and Closing Remarks

Discovering Darkblue Scenery's work on Kansai International Airport has indeed been an eye-opener. Approaching this review with an open mind, I've been thoroughly impressed by the quality and detail embedded within the scenery. The evident effort and careful planning that has gone into recreating KIX, positions it among the finest Japanese sceneries available for X-Plane 12. 


While there are few negatives to highlight, it's worth mentioning that the photographic ortho used, albeit a nice addition, could benefit from a higher resolution to maintain quality upon closer inspection. Additionally, the use of baked lit textures on some major buildings, while functional, does reminisce about earlier days of X-Plane design. These points, hopeful for attention in future updates, are minor when considering the overall excellence of the scenery.


Cessna_172SP - 2024-02-29 21.18.11.jpg


For flight simmers seeking a detailed and carefully modeled airport without a hefty price tag, Darkblue Scenery's Kansai International Airport, priced at an accessible $16.99, stands out as an excellent choice. This scenery not only showcases the developer's remarkable capability but also ignites anticipation for future creations. With a keen eye on areas ripe for enhancement, I remain genuinely excited to witness the ongoing evolution of their offerings.






RJBB-Kansai International Airport by Darkblue Scenery is available from the Org store here:


RJBB-Kansai International Airport
Priced at US$16.99



  • 4K textures.
  • Whole island owned detail modeled buildings which restored from reality.
  • Customized ground markings and taxiway signs.
  • Customized lights.
  • Customized taxiway and runway texture.
  • Interior for some buildings include Terminal 1 and train station.
  • Accurate taxiway and runway according to the newest AIRAC data.
  • Extremely FPS friendly.


X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11
(XP11 has been tested and could run without error, as this scenery is fully designed for XP12, some users may experience few jetways offset in XP11.)
Windows, Mac, or Linux
8 GB VRAM Minimum
Download Size: 810 MB


Reviewers System:

Windows 10 Professional
AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Processor

Palit GeForce RTX™ 3080 GamingPro


Scenery Review by Michael Hayward 

29th February 2024

Copyright©2024: 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) 



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Dominic Smith changed the title to Scenery Review: RJBB-Kansai International Airport by Darkblue Scenery

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...