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Scenery Review : Cancún International Airport by FSimstudios

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Cancun Header.jpg


Scenery Review : Cancún International Airport by FSimstudios


I flew a review of the original release of FlyJSim's Boeing 737 TwinJet back in 2014. The route was KDFW (Dallas Fort Worth) to MMUN (Cancún) and it was the first time I had flown into Cancún, but it was made possible by a freeware release of MMUN by 5171 

I had always wanted to fly to Cancún, Quintana Roo in Mexico as this is an extremely popular tourist resort that is a sort of an America's Ibiza as the location is so central to all North, Central and South Americas. No doubt I loved the flying, but the freeware rendition was good (for the time), but there was also a lot of liberty taken with the scenery in tall highrise buildings at any airport is usually a no, no in the authenticity stakes, but as you know my goal in any scenery is the rendition of the actual real world scenery and not a close fantasy.


So I never sadly went back to Cancún until a more worthy scenery was possible, that is until now and interestingly enough only a few weeks after the excellent release of MMMX - Mexico City that I really (really) like, so a flight from MMMX to MMUN, was always going to be an interesting idea and a great route to put into operation.


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(Navigraph Charts)


Departure from Benito Juárez International Airport - MMMX is always very dramatic, the weather up this high AT 7,316 ft / 2,230 m altitude can make for very challenging departures and very scary arrivals...


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Flying distance is almost exactly 700nm or around 2 hours 10min flying time, but as i was using the VOMA1A STAR the approach is almost directly into RWY 12L, go into 30R or 30L and the route is the far way around the coast by the visually far better but longer routing...


MMMX is placed not in an urban environment, but in a more remote rural setting south of Cancún City, the runways are well spaced and to the point our landing runway 12L/30R is placed almost remotely away from the main central terminal areas...


Cancun Arrival 4.jpgCancun Arrival 5.jpgCancun Arrival 6.jpgCancun Arrival 7.jpg


....  first impressions were extremely positive, but there was an average join between the custom scenery and the default mesh, we will look at this later.


Cancun Arrival 8.jpg


The photo ortho textures are very good and give you a nice feel of Cancún with the lakes and environs looking pretty spectacular on approaches, but the 3d or say 2d grass is at odds with the photo texures, I love 3d grass and they are a major requirement to take the flatness out of the flat orthos, but here it doesn't quite work as the bushes or grass is too dark or at odds with the surroundings, it looks fake rather than realistic, a more lighter to match grass would have blended in better (as most developers do).


Cancun Arrival 9.jpg


The surrounding foliage is quite good, but some 2d tall palms have again the same effect as the grass, they look out of date and average and the age is shown with the black surrounds and rather than a transparency around the foliage.


Cancun Arrival 10.jpgCancun Arrival 11.jpg


There is a 3d taxiway bridge from 30R threshhold on taxiway D, it is well done but it has a steep incline that needed a fair bit of thrust too climb up...


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...  I love taxiway bridges (sad like that, I need to get a life), but I just do, but there isn't much happening on the Carr. a Aeropuerto Cancún as it is deserted of traffic, in fact all roadways don't have a lot of or any dynamic traffic in or outside the airport.


Taxiway detail is very good, as is the runway textures...  one thing you need to aware of is that if you use the 12L/30R runway (most arrivals do) then it is a long taxi to the terminals... Terminal 3 is not that far, but Terminal 4 is a long all the way around the airport taxi, the opposite is true as well, if departing from T3 then it is a long taxi around to the 12L threshold (past T4), personally I don't mind as I love a long taxi,  it gives you time to see and explore the new destination, but be aware of the required taxi fuel.


Cancun Arrival 13.jpgCancun Arrival 14.jpg

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MMMX is a busy place as well, the busiest in Mexico...


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Terminal Two (domestic) stand 20 is my assigned parking...    MMUN has the SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin (Plugin Required) feature, and one feature I seriously like, but I found the navigation VDGS guidence board blank (arrowed)?


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However if you get your parking position correct the SAM will activate correctly...  some gates however didn't work either (stand 18 was one) so you need to have a working assigned gate. As a note I checked the SAM data and Gate 18 was listed.


So overall my first impressions of Cancún International Airport are extremely positive and I seriously like the scenery a lot, but there are a few details that I thought could have been far better executed.




Cancún International Airport

Aeropuerto Internacional de Cancún



Navigraph Charts.jpg


12R/30L - 11,483ft (3,500m) Asphalt

12L/30R - 9,186ft (2,800m) Asphalt

Elevation AMSL 20 ft / 6 m


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Although there is the (very good) custom photo ortho textures, but the install is a bit of a mis-match. As you have the default base textures and the custom, and then the secondary airport custom textures all converging around the airport? so the result is a bit of a bad mis-match of everything, poor blank areas are around the boundary of MMUN, sharp lines of the custom photo and all in contrast to the different airport scenery textures themselves...   it doesn't all quite match up? So as an X-Plane installation of the scenery it is all a bit amateurish, maybe passable as freeware, but certainly not as payware.


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The main Carr. Tulum - Cancún carraige way is cut off to the northeast of the airport and you lose the traffic on the roads, and there are a few buildings missing here that would be a visual requirement to the scenery...  number one rule is that any custom scenery should blend in completely into it's surroundings.


Cancun Terminals.jpg


The Terminal numbering is also the airport's history, and follow the development and you can see how the airport has developed since the airport was officially opened in 1974. All terminals are adjacent to RWYs 12R/30L, the secondary RWY 12L/30R was built and opened in October 2009.


Terminal 1

The oldest and the most basic terminal at MMUN, it is not even actually a building in the sense as it is an open air set of layers for arrivals and departures...


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It takes the meaning of "Cattle Class" to a whole new level, but it does add authenticity to the scenery. Terminal 1 has 7 gates: 1-7A. After suffering damage by Hurricane Wilma, the terminal (carpark?) was temporarily closed for remodeling in order to accommodate charter airlines operating into the airport. It re-opened in November 2013 to charter flights of which now currently serves only one airline in Magni.


Terminal 2

You could class Terminal 2 as the main older terminal at Cancún Intl, it is the domestic terminal with the old control tower still visible... it has 22 gates: A1-A11 (in a satellite building) and B12-B22 (in the main building).


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Absolutely your choice for the best Mexican feel with the satelllite building having an Aztec feel, and that early design authenticity throughout the terminal. Modeling and textures are very good.


Terminal 3

CUN has always battled with the explosion of passenger traffic, long delays and overcrowding are well founded here. In 2005, ASUR invested US$150 million for the construction of Terminal 3, which was inaugurated in 2007, along with the new runway and a new control tower which was opened in October 2009.


Cancun T3-1.jpgCancun T3-2.jpgCancun T3-3.jpgCancun T2-3.jpg


Terminal 3 has a lovely brick facade and great windows. T2 has 21 gates: C4-C24. And in t has been recently expanded adding six gates and commercial areas, and it was formally opened in March 2016. Most US carriers as well as some Canadian and European carriers all use this terminal. All terminals in the scenery have internal details as well, overall most are quite basic, but still viewable. Terminal 3 is the best and typical of the four internal designs.


Cancun T3-5.jpgCancun T3-6.jpg


Terminal 4

The newest Terminal is Terminal 4, which has 12 gates and was opened in October 2017. Gates are 53 - 64 plus two remote stands 67/A - 68. Airlines flying to terminal 4 include Aeroméxico, Interjet, Air France, Lufthansa, Air Transat, WestJet, Condor, Southwest Airlines, Air Europa, Frontier Airlines and Sun Country Airlines. You could note T4 as the International terminal at CUN as T3 is more North American continent focused. Sitting behind T4 is a tall ground radar tower that is well done, and highly noticeable.


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There is a large remote apron position between Terminal 1 and Terminal Two that cover stands 1 - 11 with 4A, 9A and 11A diagonal parking.


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There is a huge general aviation/private jet parking area by the threshold of RWY 30L, there is a modern VIP terminal that makes the area highly usable if you are transiting the airport or doing a quicky vacation weekend. Loads of PP (private parking) stands PP1A to PP37 are available so there is always somewhere to park.


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Control Tower

The taller newer control tower was built with the expansion in 2009 and is notable by the beer branded "Corona" advertising...


Cancun tower 1.jpgCancun tower 2.jpg


....  well done, and the style reflects the bare concrete architecture. All the tower views can see each approach well, but the approach to 30L has a black line (arrowed) in view, but it is below the actual approach runway view. A note that the tower cannot see the T4 ramp, as it is noted on the real terminal charts.


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Cargo Terminal

Nestled between Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 is a small domestic cargo facility, there are six stands 26 - 32, and mostly has undercover warehouses, there is a DHL logistics facility set out behind.


Cancun Cargo 1.jpgCancun Cargo 2.jpgCancun Cargo 3.jpgCancun Cargo 4.jpg


Ramps and clutter are very good, but the ysfsim ground routes the parking defs are marked for passenger and not cargo...  so if you want run frequently to MMUN in a cargo role you would need to designate or shutdown a couple of the ground routes for cargo use. Amerijet International, Estafeta Carga Aérea and FedEx Express are the users of the facility.


Detail of all the terminals is very good, and so are there textures, of all the minor infrastructure it is well presented here as also very good and so is the excellent branded ramp and apron clutter, but that is where it ends....


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....  carparking and between building spaces are like the roads, in being just textures (mostly all grey) with the lines added on, and in many cases they are just blank areas, so there are no photo based textures to give the airport good landside ground detail, and unfortunately the blandness is highly noticeable. You can get away with this on the ramps and aprons (just) as the linage is very good, but in the other areas it all looks quite average. Cars and vehicles are 3d, but just boxes than actually modeled cars, again you just get away with the effect from a distance, but overall it is not the realistic photo or modeling detail you expect.


The abandoned Allegro Boeing 727's add a nice bit of authenticity when using RWYs 12L/30R. And static aircraft are supplied, but not shown here (WT3).


Cancun Detail 9 LG.jpg


Runway and concrete textures are fine, but not in that high quality feel the stones in the asphalt look, but they are realistic...


Cancun Detail 5.jpgCancun Detail 6.jpg


...   but two shoulder areas with the Taxiway C/E junction and the entrance to the GA apron from taxiway D (D2) don't connect up correctly, and no it is not like that on the Google Maps, as there they are correctly aligned.


Cancun Detail 7.jpgCancun Detail 8.jpg


Cancún visuals FSimStudios give you some very good if excellent photo textures that surround Cancún city...


Cancun City 1.jpgCancun City 2.jpgCancun City 3.jpgCancun City 4.jpg


....  they look exceptional, but the execution at the edges of the photo textures are just visually horrible? Attention to detail is certainly at a miss here.


Cancún's beachside hotels are represented, but are just very basic at best...  this is only a skyline visual only, and not even a VFR worthy flight.


Cancun City 5.jpgCancun City 6.jpgCancun City 7.jpgCancun City 8.jpg


WT3 : The ATC routes are done here, but badly if you do a generation of MMUN. Aircraft pop out on the runways and there are no connections to the parking stands, so overall it is total mess....  however ysfsim has completely redone the ground routing (we need to buy this guy a beer!)

FSimstudios MMUN Cancun Intl WT3 Ground Routes and now the whole airport is fully WT3 functional. Operations are now about as perfect as you need, love it, and again a big thanks.


Cancun WT3 1.jpgCancun WT3 2.jpg



At first glance MMUN looks pretty good in the darkness...  from a distance.


Cancun Lighting 1.jpgCancun Lighting 2.jpgCancun Lighting 3.jpgCancun Lighting 4.jpgCancun Lighting 5.jpgCancun Lighting 6.jpg


The ramps are excellent, bright and highly workable, and it is nice down here and the tall control tower looks great with the brand lighting....


Cancun Lighting 7.jpgCancun Lighting 8.jpg


...   but again away from the bright lights the rest of the lighting is all a bit average. All the landside areas are in darkness, with not even any carpark lighting and that the approach and internal roadways also do not have any lighting.


Cancun Lighting 9.jpgCancun Lighting 10.jpg


Night taxiway lighting is a bit hit and miss as well, the approaches to the actual runways for departure are noted by lightboxes, but not the taxiways, except for in a few zones, worse is the large break of lighting on the edge taxiway and centreline lighting over the taxiway bridge.... you could easily lose a B747 here off the bridge...


Cancun Lighting 11.jpgCancun Lighting 12.jpg


... and with the poor scenery to ground texture insertion, the traffic lighting going north (to Cancún City) is broken and missing, so overall it is again pretty amateurish.



FSimstudios are another FSX/P3D studio to release their first scenery for the X-Plane simulator. And as with most FlightSim developers the results are a bit hit and miss, and the misses here are mostly and as usual in the areas that X-Plane in scenery differs from the FSX/P3D platform.


The good is that we have finally a decent Cancún MMUN airport to fly into as a very desirable destination. Terminal reproduction and design is very good as are the airside layouts of the airport, the photo realistic textures look excellent on departure and arrival and you have that excellent SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin on all the gates, airside clutter is branded and again well done, so overall CUN looks really good.


The average is when you get a little closer to the scenery. The airports X-Plane boundary installation and even the photo realistic install is quite awful and even amateurish, ditto the landside layouts (flat textures), lighting layouts and traffic road lighting and oddly placed shoulder areas. ATC routes are incomplete. Taxiway lighting is incomplete as is the taxiway navigation. Grass and tropical trees are out of date and X-Plane airport animations are not available and neither is active traffic on the roads (not even the supplied default traffic). Cancún City is about as basic as you could deliver.


The frustration of sceneries like FSimstudio MMUN Cancún is that it has everything in it's basic form to be a top notch high level scenery, but again like with most Flightsim crossovers it fails on the most basic X-Plane aspects in not knowing or understanding the X-Plane dynamics. Can it be fixed... yes it can and actually quite easily, but an experienced X-Plane scenery developer would have to iron out the many kinks.


So do I recommend to buy Cancún International Airport by FSimstudios for X-Plane11? For the overall quaility then no, as it just falls too short...  however as a working scenery it is still a great addition to your flight routes, and flying in and out of CUN is a very good experience, certainly with the fixed WT3 ground routes and the SAM interaction.


Overall I do actually love the Cancún experience and will obviously use this scenery with Mexico City's MMMX...  but CUN could have been so, so much and a far better introduction from FSimstudio's for the X-Plane simulator.




X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg


Yes! Cancún International Airport by FSimstudios is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

MMUN - Cancun International Airport


Price is US$22.50

  • High detailed representation of Cancun International Airport
  • Detailed terminal buildings, including interiors and the new Terminal 4
  • High Resolution textures (4096x4096)
  • Realistic Ground Poly of the airport
  • Hotel Area with over 300 hand modeled hotels
  • FBO and airport Surroundings modeled with great attention to detail
  • Baked Shadows
  • Static Planes
  • SAM Animated Jetways
  • Highly optimized for great performance
  • Volumetric grass and custom vegetation
  • 3D Modeled bridge on Taxiway D
  • SAM Animated Jetways
  • HDR Night Lighting
  • PBR Textures





The download package is huge at 1.05gb and is installed into your "Custom Scenery" Folder.


Total scenery installation is a huge 2.50gb


SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin is required and to be installed in your X-Plane Resources/Plugin folder

WT3 - Ground Routes by ysfsim FSimstudios MMUN Cancun Intl WT3 Ground Routes is a requirement to replace the poor ATC routes

(with the ysfsim MMUN ground routes there is supplied an optional scenery folder to hide the static aircraft (recommended))


Requirements :

X-Plane 11

Windows, Mac or Linux
4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB VRAM Recommended
Download Size: 1.1 GB
Current and Review version: 1.0 (Sep 17th 2019)



Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton

7th October 2019

Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews


Review System Specifications:

Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 1Tb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.45 / Checked install in X-Plane11b6

Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini : Headshake by SimCoders

Plugins:  WorldTraffic3 US$29.95 : Environment Engine v1.07 by xEnviro US$69.90 : Scenery Animation Manager plugin - Free

Scenery or Aircraft

- Boeing 738 by Laminar Research - Default with X-Plane11


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