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Quick Impression : KOAK - Oakland International by Departure Designs

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KOAK - Oakland_DD_header.jpg


Quick Impression : KOAK - Oakland International by Departure Designs


I still believe that the approach into Oakland's Rwy 12 is one of the very best in X-Plane. Flying in a full flap slow approach speed you get glimpses of the Gold Gate Bridge (The big red one), the classic city of San Francisco on your right and then the brilliant low pass over the Oakland Bay Bridge, and in you go into OAK's Rwy 12... the landing experience here never ceases to excite me. There has been only one decent San Francisco and Oakland package and that was from Tom Curtis (Golden Gate), and yes there was a very good KOAK scenery as part of the pack, but that was released way back in 2013...   which in X-Plane terms is that it is now quite old.


So here is another KOAK-Oakland International from Departure Designs. I was quite indifferent to their KFLL- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International, of which in areas it was very good, but in other areas it was a little patchy... so let us look at Oakland.


KOAK - Oakland_DD_head 1.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_head 2.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_head 3.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_head 4.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_head 5.jpg


My immediate response was to those very dark if black ground textures? and yes they are quite darkish brownish around areas of Rwy 12/30, but the eastern side of KOAK is actually a Golf Course and that is not dark at all but all nice and green. So the package does not blend in well to the X-Plane mesh here at all, and the boundaries can be clearly seen and worse close up they are not so nice either? The black patch (below left) is actually a lake? Is KOAK really like this? so I checked, no it isn't and neither is it a scorched earth policy at OAK either, So I don't like first off the overall look of the scenery as it is not at all realistic?


KOAK - Oakland_DD_head 6.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_head 7.jpg


KOAK is a significant cargo hub more than an commercial passenger airport, even then it is dominated by LCCs (Low Cost Carriers), or for more prominently for the El Cheapo Southwest Airlines.


OAK Commercial Terminal area is to the south by the Rwy 30 Threshold...


KOAK - Oakland_DD_Terminal 1.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Terminal 2.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Terminal 3.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Terminal 4.jpg


OAK has two passenger terminals - T1 & T2. The terminals are connected at post-security and gate areas, enabling arriving passengers to go straight to their connecting flights without having to re-enter the security check. U.S. Customs & Border Protection federal inspection facilities are located in Terminal 1.


KOAK - Oakland_DD_Terminal 5.jpg


Terminal 1 serves Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Azores Airlines, Contour Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, Spirit Airlines and Volaris.  (while Norwegian ticket counters are located on level 2?). Level 2 houses the security check with access to gates 1–17 (gates 1 & 3 are international gates) near gate 4 is a connector to gates 20–32 of T2. Terminal 1 has a passenger transit area and the majority of the Port's aviation department offices are located in Terminal 1.

Terminal 2 functions as the operating base for Southwest Airlines, and it has a baggage claim area and ticketing desks, with security checkpoint in the center and access to gates 20–25 and gates 26–32. At T2's gate 20 is the connector to T1's gates 1–17.


KOAK - Oakland_DD_Terminal 6.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Terminal 7.jpg


Terminal modeling and design is far better than at KLFF, and thankfully the glass also looks realistic, so overall the terminal construction is very good.


KOAK - Oakland_DD_Terminal 8.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Terminal 9.jpg

KOAK - Oakland_DD_Terminal 10.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Terminal 11.jpg


Rooftop phototextures are however really low-res, my graphic settings are all set at maximum, but they look like they are set at the lowest setting? a shame because the terminal buildings are very good, and the rooftop detail is also very good. Only Terminal 2 interior is detailed, but it is again very Low-Res affair and only to be viewed externally.


KOAK - Oakland_DD_Terminal 12.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Terminal 13.jpg


SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin is available with Marshaller guidance, the airbridges are very well done and highly realistic and a highlight of the scenery.


KOAK - Oakland_DD_Sam 1.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Sam 2.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Sam 3.jpg


Ramp clutter is excellent and airline branded, but there is no ramp traffic. Remote stands "Tango" also has a "Ground Runup" (engine test bay) on the north end. A380/B748 aircraft can land on runway 12/30 and use taxiway W, but parking for the E size aircraft is restricted to the Tango zone.


KOAK - Oakland_DD_Remote 1.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Remote 2.jpg


Landside is again totally ruined by the heavy Low-Res textures? I have come to accept Low-Res landside layouts, but this is horrible...


KOAK - Oakland_DD_Airside 1.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Airside 2.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Airside 3.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Airside 4.jpg


.... carparks are well filled with 3d vehicles and the elevated rail is really actually well done, but it has no animated trains to use it, traffic does flow around the terminals so all is not lost.


There is a huge facility called "Oakland Maintenance" on and near the entrance to the terminals landside, there is some nice advertising, but it is inversed on the side facing the airport?


KOAK - Oakland_DD_Remote 3.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Remote 4.jpg


KOAK is of course a major cargo hub, with the large Oakland Sea Port not far from the airport, and FedEx has a large cargo base here.


KOAK - Oakland_DD_FedEx 1.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_FedEx 2.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_FedEx 3.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_FedEx 4.jpg


The FedEx aprons are well done and great for all the haulers out there. The KOAK Control Tower is set directly behind the FedEx base....


KOAK - Oakland_DD_FedEx 5.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_FedEx 6.jpg


....   the tower is well modeled but looks not to be textured, and so also looks unfinished? Tower View is excellent on all four runways and approaches.


Oakland International Airport


KOAK Chart.jpg

12/30 - 10,520ft (3,206m) Asphalt

10R/28L - 6,213ft (1,894m) Asphalt

10L/28R - 5,458m (1,664m) Asphalt

15/33 - 3,376ft (1,029m) Asphalt

Elevation AMSL 9 ft /3 m


In many ways KOAK is a split airport with Rwy 12/30 on the west side and three runways 10R/28L, 10L/28R and 15/33 on the eastern side, and connecting the two areas is Taxiway B. This Taxiway B goes over the Ron Cowan Pkwy via a taxiway bridge. The bridge is a bit rough, but useable, again the very poor textures around it don't define the taxiway bridge very well. The three runways would be classed for GA and Light Jet operations, mostly they are all quite short in length.


KOAK - Oakland_DD_Taxiway B 1.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Taxiway B 2.jpg

KOAK - Oakland_DD_10_28 1.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_10_28 2.jpg



There is an assortment of General Aviation and Private Jet facilities and hangarage along the eastern boundary and fronting Taxiway C


KOAK - Oakland_DD_East 1.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_East 2.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_East 3.jpg


Generally it is well done, but a few of the textures are quite Low-Res including the signage and there a few nice static aircraft placed here as well, "Signature Aviation" are represented (twice?).


KOAK - Oakland_DD_East 6.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_East 4.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_East 5.jpg


Ground Textures

The ground textures are a mixed bag, and overall I would call them amateurish...    most grains are direct and not to the shape or lines of the taxiway or runway, patches are sharp, cut and not very realistic...


KOAK - Oakland_DD_Textures 1.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Textures 2.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Textures 3.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Textures 4.jpg


...  worse are the sharp edges and it all looks crappy, because it is. Again the very dark underlays don't help out here either.... a bit of a dogs breakfast.


KOAK - Oakland_DD_Textures 5.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Textures 6.jpg


The crucial approach area just north of Rwy 12 is awful as well, flat photo buildings don't look at all realistic, and there has been no effort to cover them...


KOAK - Oakland_DD_Textures 7.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Textures 8.jpg


...  in one word "Ugly".



The biggest bonus of the lighting is that being in the dark hides those horrible textures, but overall the lighting is pretty average as well.


KOAK - Oakland_DD_Lighting 1.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Lighting 2.jpg


Approach and taxiway lighting is fine. The terminal area is not bad with two tone lighting for the Tango and main apron areas...


KOAK - Oakland_DD_Lighting 3.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Lighting 4.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Lighting 5.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Lighting 6.jpg


....  down on the ramps it is not bad, but the light throw isn't very long, glass is not bad either and see through, so airside gets a pass...  landside however and the lighting is terrible. Terminal glass is deathly, old-fashioned and not much of it...


KOAK - Oakland_DD_Lighting 7.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Lighting 8.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Lighting 9.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Lighting 10.jpg


....  carparks are JUST passible with some spot lighting, but that is about it, however the remote cargo ramps are not too bad. FedEx Hub is very average and even the FedEx sign is not lit? ditto the crude Control Tower lighting, very basic.


KOAK - Oakland_DD_Lighting 11.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Lighting 12.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Lighting 13.jpgKOAK - Oakland_DD_Lighting 14.jpg


East boundary is not much better, a few sets of gantry lighting, a few lit advertising signs and that is about it?



Departure Designs are pumping scenery and airports out like no tomorrow, the list is big and growing fast... but we want quality and not quantity and the production line effect is creating B or C grade products.


I really wanted to like KOAK-Oakland, but the only way to love it is to visualise the airport after a firestorm has swept through the area, those ground ortho textures are simply blackly horrible, in fact a lot of the textures are too far Low-Res and even nasty. Ground textures and their poor edging are also not visually good either, however the detail around the terminal airside is very good, but it ends there.

Landside is average and so is the control tower, but overall nothing can shine here with these overwhelming textures, and in other areas it is photo flat and boring and simply ruins any decent airport approach. And what a terrible shame it all is as OAK's position on the east side of San Francisco Bay is one of the best locations you can get.


SAM is a big attraction, and better glass in terminals helps again airside as is the good and branded clutter, but the positive list here is not good or a long one.


My first impression of Oakland International was not great, and it sadly went downhill from there, and it is sad overall because I really wanted a good working KOAK as it has so many route benefits, but this Departure Design version is not going to be that OAK scenery.



X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg


Yes! KOAK - Oakland International by Departure Designs is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


KOAK - Oakland International


Price is US$24.95




  • Heavily optimized Airport
  • PBR Textures throughout Airport Rain Textures
  • SAM Jetways
  • Implemented Taxiway Bridge
  • Highly detailed Custom Animated SAM Jetways Custom WT3 support prepared by Captain K-Man Custom Night Lighting
  • color graded Satellite Imagery High Resolution 4K Textures Terminal layout circa Q2 2020
  • Ortho4XP Compatible


WT3:  WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are not provided



X-Plane 11
Windows, Mac or Linux
4GB VRAM Minimim - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended
Current and Review version: 1.0 (May 24th 2020)
Download scenery file size is 1.62gb:
  • Dep_KOAK - Oakland International


Total scenery installation is quite big : 3.13gb


SAM Plugin - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 1.0 is required for this scenery



One extensive manual in English with notes (2 pages) but no charts


  • OAK Manual.pdf



Quick Impression Review by Stephen Dutton

29th May 2020

Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews


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


Review System Specifications: 

Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane  11.41 - tested v11.50.b9 (fine)

Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini

Plugins: Traffic Global (Just Flight) US$52.99

Scenery or Aircraft

- Default Boeing 737-800 by Laminar Reserch


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