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Scenery Review : KSLC - Salt Lake City Intl by ShortFinal Design

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Scenery Review : KSLC - Salt Lake City International by ShortFinal Design


I will first give you the bad news with so that you can then absorb this new excellent scenery in its correct context. This scenery is not from a new developer called ShortFinal Design, but from an old and much loved scenery developer called Mister_X6, Yes the same Mister_X6 that created the outstanding KLAX, KSAN, KSFO, KPHX (Phoenix) and the overwhelming KBOS (Boston) and now you will suddenly realise what is coming next...  Mister-X6's scenery is not freeware anymore, as it is now going to be payware. And this KSLC is the first payware airport from the former freeware master.


To be honest the scenery created by Mister_X6 was payware quality from the start, it was just released as freeware...  In other words you just got lucky to get this level of scenery free. But the amount of time and work required to create sceneries of this scale cannot be supported on good fortune alone. The problem is that to continue to produce great scenery something has to give, one either get remuneration for all the time and experience or the other option is in giving the game away. So payware is better than nothing at all from a designer of Mister_X6's caliber, as to depart then everyone loses and so does the X-Plane simulator as well. But going payware does also put the onus on the developer as well, this is not freeware and payware does demand a high quality return for the investment, because that is what high quality payware scenery actually is in an investment.


KSLC Head 1.jpgKSLC Head 2.jpg

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The one thing that the large state of Utah is that it has a lot of space between the large salt flats and mountain ranges. The state is like Colorado in that it has the last vestiges of the southern Rocky Mountain chain. Salt Flats are very flat, so if you want to build an airport then you have the right wide space in to do so.  


Salt Lake.jpgKSLC - Salt Lake.jpg

  (Google Maps)


So KSLC which set in the area to the north of the city is wide and uses a lot of the low flat space that is a part of the Great Salt Lake itself.


KSLC Overview

Having a very flat salt lake as a base works for the developer and against them. For is very simple in that the orthoimagery used in the scenery which was sourced from the USGS is easy to install as the ground is very flat, but it can really work against you as well as it did with Tom Curtis's Denver in that from the ground level it feels totally and unrealistically flat and bland as well, another point is that you have to make sure the insertion of the your add-on scenery melds in well with the surrounding default X-plane scenery to create the right realistic effect.


KSLC - Overview 1.jpgKSLC - Overview 2.jpg

KSLC - Overview 3.jpgKSLC - Overview 4.jpg


There is a flatness effect with SFD's scenery but it is not extremely noticeable, but it is there...


KSLC - Overview 5.jpgKSLC - Overview 6.jpg


From the air you can easily see the USGS install from the X-Plane surroundings as the colouring is different, and on the east side a blank area is (very) noticeable...


KSLC - Overview 7.jpg


...   However from a distance on a departure or arrival perspective I think SFD gets away with the colouring, the blending is not bad at all.


KSLC Layout


Salt Lake International Airport





16L/34R 12,002ft, (3,658m) Asphalt

16R/34L12,000ft, (3,658m) Concrete

17/35 9,597ft  (2,925m) Asphalt

14/32 4,892ft (1,491m) Asphalt

Elevation AMSL 4,227 ft / 1,288 m


KSLC - Overview RWY 2.jpgKSLC - Overview RWY 1.jpg


KSLC As the airport does cover a very large area it is best it be segregated into five defined areas: Terminals, Control Tower & Delta maintenance, Cargo North & South and East General Aviation.




KSLC - Overview Detail 1.jpgKSLC - Overview Ter 2.jpg

KSLC - Overview Ter 3.jpgKSLC - Overview Ter 4.jpg


Control Tower & Delta maintenance


KSLC - Overview Tow 1.jpgKSLC - Overview Tow 2.jpg


Cargo North & South


KSLC - Overview Detail 3.jpgKSLC - Cargo South.jpg


East General Aviation & Salt Lake City Air National Guard Base


KSLC - Overview East 1.jpgKSLC - Overview East 2.jpg


Terminal detail.

From a distance it looks like KSLC has only one terminal, but in fact there are three in Terminal 1, Terminal 2 and the International Terminal.





KSLC - Concourse A.jpgKSLC - Concourse B.jpg



Concourse A (left) are (gates A1-A9) and Concourse B (right) are (gates B1-B22). Con A and Con B is domestic mixed use but the terminal was built for "Western" which merged with Delta in 1987. But Delta use Terminal 2.


KSLC - Concourse C.jpgKSLC - Concourse D.jpg


Concourse C (left) has (gates C1-C13) is domestic, but Concourse D is mixed with (right) with (gates D1-D13) and Concourse E (below) with (gates E60-E85) is mixed with International, but use only gates D2, D4, and D6 in Concourse D for overseas flights.


KSLC - Concourse E1.jpgKSLC - Concourse E2.jpg


Concourse E's both finger departure gates are walk on only with no airbridges to the aircraft, but this gives you a great mix for short domestic flights with longer domestic services.


All the terminal elements are really well developed by mister_x6, you know his work is already of a high standard and so it is here. A lot of the ground equipment is also highly prevalent as to the point of watching out for your wingtips when parking to avoid strikes. A nice touch is the excellent covered boarding ramps... Images here above are with the X-Plane11 static aircraft switched off, but the scenery is developed with all static aircraft positions (images static aircraft on below) created and all taxi routes are built in (default ATC and X-LIFE).


KSLC - static 1.jpgKSLC - static 2.jpg


When using the static aircraft feature you will need the required MisterX Library downloaded and installed for a wider variety of static aircraft and items in the scenery (the misterX library is a welcome tool to have anyway for other sceneries)


A major feature with this scenery is the specific Docking Guidance System (DGS) at KSLC. 


KSLC - Concourse Parking 1.jpgKSLC - Concourse Parking 2.jpg


The system is a variation of "Marginal's" autogate and docking guidance plugin, but beautifully recreated here. Green is "hello, I know who you are", Yellow is "Slow" and Red is "Stop" and if the lights turn off you have gone past the parking point. Aircraft alignment is via a protruding green bar over the red, if the only the green bar covers the red you are aligned correctly...  simples!


All auto gates are operational as well, turn off your engines and the airbridge will attach to the aircraft. On the non-airbridge gates (E) you have the marshall to guide you in. There is excellent aircraft gate display boards as well for authenticity, again beautifully done.


KSLC - Concourse 4.jpgKSLC - Concourse 3.jpg


KSLC - Concourse 1.jpgKSLC - Concourse 2.jpg


All building glass has reflections (X-Plane11 only), but they can be odd with what they reflect sometimes if you get close or mess with the angle, but in most circumstances it is a realistic effect.


There is detail inside the the concourses as well....


KSLC - Concourse internal.jpgKSLC - Concourse internal 2.jpg


....  but only in the concourses and not the actual terminals, but still very well done.


Landside detailing is excellent as well, highly realistic, just the photo roadway markings are a bit low resolution.


KSLC - Landside 3.jpgKSLC - Landside 4.jpg

KSLC - Landside 1.jpgKSLC - Landside 2.jpg


There is animation of vehicles both Landside and Airside for scenery movement and that buzzy activity effect, both are well done as the vehicles are streaming around the terminals or along in alignment with the roadways in and out of the airport...  always an important addition for me for realism...  highlight is the animated UTX TRAX trams that weave their way out of the scenery and past the airline situation boards in the carpark,


KSLC - Landside 8.jpgKSLC - Landside 9.jpg

KSLC - Landside 7.jpgKSLC - Landside 6.jpg


All car rental outlets are covered with the correct buildings and 3d cars in the yards, again a welcome addition for realism.


Control Tower & Delta maintenance detail

Centre field of KSLC is the control tower, Delta maintenance facility and the airports main fuel depot.


KSLC - Control Tower C 1.jpgKSLC - Control Tower C 2.jpg


KSLC's control tower is very well modeled, with great detail and glass reflections. Tower view is excellent as well, with all corners of the field covered and approaches well visible.


KSLC - Control Tower V 1.jpgKSLC - Control Tower V 2.jpg

KSLC - Control Tower V 3.jpgKSLC - Control Tower V 4.jpg


In addition to the 328-foot-tall (100 m) Air Traffic Control Tower, TRACON is also located on the airport with the Salt Lake Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) located adjacent to the airport. The Salt Lake ARTCC covers the largest geographical area in the continental United States and controls airspace as far north as the Canada–US border.


The main fuel depot is highlighted here, and there are a lot of airport infrastructure facilities that are also well reproduced, includes Fire Station, Skywest maintenance and fuel refuelling station...


KSLC - Control Tower C 3.jpgKSLC - Control Tower C 4.jpg


...     but the standout building centre field is the huge dominating Delta maintenance facility, the building is the primary maintenance, repair and overhaul arm for Delta TechOps.


KSLC - Delta.jpgKSLC - Delta 1.jpg

KSLC - Delta 2.jpgKSLC - Delta 3.jpg


The hangar itself is certainly well created, but the real highlights here are the side paneled widows with excellent reflections that creates a real realism on the various light angles.


North Cargo

There are two cargo terminals in North and South Cargo. North Cargo is well north to the rest of the airfield and the larger (newer) of the two facilities. Home to DHL and FedEx it is well recreated. The Fire practise area (well done) is to the west of North Cargo as well.


KSLC - North Cargo 4.jpgKSLC - North Cargo 1.jpg

KSLC - North Cargo 2.jpgKSLC - North Cargo 3.jpg


There are in various places around the scenery large ramps for Ice spraying, these are noted by the parked lines of ice protection spray trucks, a small but well thought out addition.


South Cargo

United States Postal Service dominates South Cargo, but Skywest Cargo, Delta Cargo and the Commissary are here as well.


KSLC - South Cargo 1.jpgKSLC - South Cargo 2.jpg

KSLC - South Cargo 3.jpgKSLC - South Cargo 4.jpg


East General Aviation & Salt Lake City Air National Guard Base

The northeast of KSLC is the where Utah Air National Guard operates what was previously named the Salt Lake City Air National Guard Base. In November 2014, the installation was renamed the Roland R. Wright Air National Guard Base after Brigadier General Roland R. Wright, USAF (Ret).

The base occupies approximately 135 acres as a U.S. Government cantonment area leased from the airport. In addition to flight-line aircraft, the installation comprises 63 buildings: 3 services, 13 administrative, and 47 industrial. There are 255 full-time Air Reserve Technician and Active Guard and Reserve personnel assigned, augmented by 1,343 part-time traditional air national guardsmen.

The host wing for the installation is the 151st Air Refueling Wing (151 ARW), an Air Mobility Command (AMC)-gained unit operating the KC-135R Stratotanker.


KSLC - ANGB 1.jpgKSLC - ANGB 2.jpg

KSLC - ANGB 3.jpgKSLC - ANGB 4.jpg


The Utah Air National Guard base has been faithfully reproduced and is excellent. The rest of the eastern boundary is ulitised by private jet operators with mostly the Salt Lake Jet Centre making most of the facilites and areas for general aviation, with a lot of aircraft parking garages (hangars) to the south and rear.


KSLC - East 1.jpg KSLC - East 2.jpg

KSLC - East 3.jpgKSLC - East 4.jpg


Even the most minor buildings get the most detailed attention, almost as perfect is these hangar buildings as the real things. But the eastern area has a boundary tranfer issue to the X-Plane default scenery. In most cases you would dismiss this perplexity as one of those things that could happen in X-Plane. But the default autogen does not match up with the scenery boundary on two sides, so you get a big open boundary area that is highly noticeable from any aerial viewpoint even from a distance, and it doesn't work on the ground either.... 


ShortFinal Design does also provide with the scenery a few 3d buildings of the Salt Lake City skyline, Including the Utah State Capitol building, Court house, US Bank, Keybank and the Wells Fargo Bank which has a usable helipad on the roof.


KSLC - City 1.jpgKSLC - City 2.jpg


KSLC Lighting

ShortFinal Design's lighting of KSLC is excellent...


KSLC - Lighting 1.jpgKSLC - Lighting 2.jpg

KSLC - Lighting 3.jpgKSLC - Lighting 6.jpg


Approaches to all runways are well done with a few with RAIL lighting. All taxiway guidance (green) lighting is also covered. But you have to get closer in to see the diversity of the lighting with a good spread of different lighting for different areas.


KSLC - Lighting 5.jpg


You have no problems working around the ramps, but the non-autogate terminals are a little duller than the other concourses.


KSLC - Lighting 7.jpgKSLC - Lighting 9.jpg

KSLC - Lighting 10.jpgKSLC - Lighting 4.jpg


The reflective glass feature doesn't work as well at night, as glass comes out grey. Not too bad, but not totally realistic either.


KSLC - Lighting 13.jpgKSLC - Lighting 16.jpg


One area that does stand out though is landside and the terminal signs are not lit?  It makes it pretty dark around there...


KSLC - Lighting 11.jpgKSLC - Lighting 12.jpg


There is a lot of down-lighting around all the various hangars and warehouses that is well done and creates a lot of detailing, however the highlight is the Delta maintenance building which is very well done.


KSLC - Lighting 15.jpgKSLC - Lighting 14.jpg



Domestic and Denver wins the most used route and I recommend the flight as it is a great view over the Rockies. Otherwise it is the standard selection of US destinations...  Delta, Alaska, American and Southwest dominate but Frontier gets a look in.


  1. Denver, Colorado - 789,000 : Delta, Frontier, Southwest, United
  2. Los Angeles, California - 650,000 : Alaska, American, Delta, Southwest, United
  3. Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Arizona - 610,000 : American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest
  4. Atlanta, Georgia - 526,000 : Delta, Frontier
  5. Seattle/Tacoma, Washington - 494,000 : Alaska, Delta
  6. Las Vegas, Nevada - 492,000 : Alaska, Delta, Frontier, Southwest
  7. Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas - 416,000 : American, Delta
  8. Portland, Oregon - 346,000 : Alaska, Delta
  9. Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois - 333,000 : American, Delta, Frontier, United
  10. San Diego, California - 303,000 : Alaska, Delta


Except for Paris and Amsterdam, most international routes are to Mexico and Canada and Delta runs the show.


  1. Paris (Charles de Gaulle), France - 124,425 : Delta
  2. Cancún, México - 80,351: Delta, Frontier
  3. Mexico City, México - 74,818 : Delta
  4. Amsterdam, Netherlands - 63,185 : Delta
  5. Vancouver, Canada - 61,879 : Delta
  6. Calgary, Canada - 55,788 : Delta
  7. San José del Cabo, México - 32,429 : Delta
  8. Puerto Vallarta, México - 24,733 : Delta





The move from Freeware to Payware is a big step. A hard one as well as now your work will have to meet higher expectations and a more critical examination of all the aspects of what the developer is presenting. 

There is no doubt here with their KSLC scenery is that ShortFinal Design are well aware of this factor, and there is a lot of extra of of everything to meet and even supersede their original scenery presentations.


There are few notes to be aired and mostly they are centred around the scenery's intergration with the X-Plane default scenery and autogen. The trick is that if a developer understands the system well, then can turn the disadvantage into an advantage for their work. JustSim scenery is very good at doing this even to the point of using the default tools to create their own autogen to match their add-on scenery.

With KSLC ShortFinal Design are lucky in that three boundaries of the scenery don't clash with the default autogen, but with the one that does it is noticeable, if the airport was much lower south in the main Salt Lake City metro area then this scenery would have stuck out like a sore thumb, but they get away with it here, even with the darker USGS photo textures...  but just. The point is they not do so next time.


A nice additional feature to this scenery would be winter textures, maybe in an update...


Otherwise this is sensational scenery and very high quality. You do get a lot of everything for your money. Great buildings and internal as well as external, well conceived layouts, huge and mindless amount of objects and items around the airport including all terminals, hangars and airport infrastructure and great features including great vehicle and tram animations, great glass reflections, great features in the autogate and docking guidance systems, great lighting, everything is great, great, great.


Great value as well at under US$25, so this KSLC is a certain addition to your American Mid-West scenery collection... 


Positives : Great scenery, many great X-Plane features including many animations, specific to airport docking guidance, great internal and external detailed terminals, good lighting, huge amount of objects and detailed buildings and famous X-Plane developer.


Negatives: Slightly better intergration into X-Plane default scenery needed, poorly lit signage landside, no charts.



X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg


The KSLC - Salt Lake City International by ShortFinal Design is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here :



KSLC-Salt Lake City International


Your Price: US$24.95
Scenery Features:
Accurate rendition of KSLC
  • Highly accurate scenery for KSLC – Salt Lake City International Airport and parts of Salt Lake City
  • Accurate models for all terminals, hangars, and other buildings
  • Most terminals with 3D interiors
High-Resolution Airport
  • Dynamic reflections on buildings (X-Plane 11 only)
  • Baked Ambient Occlusion
  • Custom high resolution ground textures
  • HDR night lighting
  • High resolution photo scenery (15cm/px)
Animated and populated Airport
  • Animated airport vehicles (GroundTraffic)
  • Animated jetways and custom Docking Guidance System (DGS) unique to KSLC (using the AutoGate plugin)
  • Randomly placed static aircraft, can be easily toggled off in the X-Plane settings


Requirements :

X-Plane 11 or X-Plane 10.50 
Windows, Mac or Linux
2Gb VRAM Minimum. 3Gb+ VRAM Recommended
Download size: 720Mb. 1.2Gb Extracted
Framerate is excellent for the density of the scenery, but still subject to computer system standards

Installation and documents:

MisterX Library can be installed to get a larger selection of static aircraft.
AutoGate can be installed to use the included docking guidance system and moving jetways.


Download for the KSLC - Salt Lake City International is 732.19mb and the unzipped files are deposited 1.18gb in the "Custom Scenery" Folder


scenery order.jpg


Note... scenery must be set in that above order to work correctly, You can rearrange the order in your scenery_packs_ini file.


Static aircraft can be switched on or off via your "Graphic Settings" menu in "Draw Parked Aircraft".


Documents : Manual but no charts



Review by Stephen Dutton
10th April 2017
Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews
(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 - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11b15 and also used in X-Plane v10.52

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

Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe GHD plugin


Scenery or Aircraft

- Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 by FlyJSIm (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$30.00


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  • 4 weeks later...

It's a great looking airport and is definitely a fantastic add-on.  I would like to note however that this scenery does not work with X-Life traffic.  MisterX6 did put in the taxiways however he did not connect them to the gates.  The causes X-Life planes to sit at the gates without moving.  Not sure how or why he missed this because he did it correctly in all his other free scenery packages.  I'll see if I can contact him to get his reasons for doing it this way.



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I gave Justin a shout and he said that X-Plane 11's KSEA scenery didn't have the connection so he felt that was the way it was supposed to be done.  He stated that he will be adding the connections in a v1.1 update.  In the meantime I'll contact Laminar to see if taxiway to gate connections are recommended or not, for new scenery.



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If I remember right I think Ben changed the static point for "Static" aircraft on the scenery for X-Plane11, but KSEA should have been done correctly as it is the Demo scenery for X-Plane. SD

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  • 2 weeks later...

Stephen, I've been talking with the folks at Laminar Research and the gates should be connected to taxiways.  This is a "recommended" practice but not required.  While it was acknowledged that the AI planes may not work correctly without the gate to taxiway connection, I guess they just didn't want to make it requirement. (though in my opinion they should) In any case, Laminar's KSEA scenery doesn't have the connections but it "should".  


Justin will be adding the connections to the KSLC scenery when he does a v1.1 update.  I am currently working with his scenery to put together a file for X-Life which will have all 160+ gates work correctly with that plugin.



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2 hours ago, fjperreault said:

Stephen, I've been talking with the folks at Laminar Research and the gates should be connected to taxiways.  This is a "recommended" practice but not required.  While it was acknowledged that the AI planes may not work correctly without the gate to taxiway connection, I guess they just didn't want to make it requirement. (though in my opinion they should) In any case, Laminar's KSEA scenery doesn't have the connections but it "should".  


Justin will be adding the connections to the KSLC scenery when he does a v1.1 update.  I am currently working with his scenery to put together a file for X-Life which will have all 160+ gates work correctly with that plugin.




Thanks Frank. It does make you wonder with Laminar's KSEA as their demo airport does not work as it should do...  that is a bit of an oversight if you ask me. If you could let me know when Justin puts out the update to v1.1 that would be great...  again thanks. Stephen

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