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Scenery Review: PHNY - Lanai Airport, Hawaii

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Scenery Review: PHNY - Lanai Airport, Hawaii


Hello, and welcome to my review of Northern Sky Studio's Lanai Airport for X-Plane 11. 

Located in Maui County, Hawaii, Lanai Airport (or Kahua Mokulele o Lāna‘i, as it is sometimes known) is a mere 3.4 miles (6 km) southwest of the central business district of Lanai City. Having begun regular operations in 1930, to date it is the only airport serving the beautiful island of Lanai. 


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I for one would love nothing more - especially after the last few tough years we’ve had as a global population – than to go and visit this airport for…erm…’research’ purposes. Who knows, someone might even be able to convince me, with some ease I should probably add, to blend in with all the other tourists ‘researching’ everything Lanai has to offer. It would be a hard job, but I think I’d be up for the challenge! Unfortunately, this review is not about Lanai as a whole, just the little airport with a big heart, so let’s get on with it.

The download itself was relatively large for such a small airport, just over 800MB, and even larger when you include the optional photographic scenery mentioned in the documentation. This is an additional 1.3GB, but one I highly recommend downloading as it adds a lot to the surrounding area. Installation of the main airport is automated, with only a serial number to enter. When done, it’s just a simple case of starting X-Plane and you’re good to go!  

Lanai Airport’s layout is thus: On approach, there is a passenger car park to the front. Here you will find a spattering of cars; enough of a variety to not feel like a ‘cut and paste’ effort. Directly behind the car park is the main terminal building, and to the right of that, a larger employee car park. Sitting in front of this car park are four hangars. Starting from the far right, we have the ARFF station. Beside that are the cargo bays and some handy public toilets. Then you will find the maintenance hangar, and lastly, closest to the main terminal, you will find the office building in which you will find a conference room, TSA, Security, Bradley, FedEx, USDA, Air Service, and finally, Operations. 


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Ok, now here come the geographical statistics for those of you who may be interested.

Sitting on the southwestern side of the island of Lanai, it has an elevation of 1308 ft/399 m above mean sea level, and the airport itself covers an area of 505 acres. It has just one asphalt runway (designated 3/21) which measures 5,001 by 150 ft (1524 by 46 m). Once serving as a base for 6,326 aircraft operations, as of April 2022, it no longer serves as a base for any aircraft operations, and indeed, Mokulele Airlines are the only commercial airline that actually operates a small number of aircraft into Lanai. Unsurprisingly, this cessation of base status has sadly led to a dramatic fall in passenger numbers, but happily it is still surrounded by the same mesmerizing beauty.


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So, what does this airport, re-created for X-Plane by Northern Sky Studio, have to offer?

Well, the first thing to say is that it is polar opposites to any large, or even medium-sized airport. Instead of the shoulder-shoving hustle and bustle of modern life barging its way through the doors, there is a small, gentle meandering. Of course, everyone has a place they need to be, places to go, but this airport suggests a refusal of admittance to the hardcore ‘must dash, no time to waste, I’m late, I’m late!’ feel. No need for shoulder shoving here! In fact, as one drives up to the airport towards the car park, it doesn’t have the coldness of many larger airports. Instead, it seems to say, ‘Come my friend, let me take you to where you want to go.’  I suspect if it had hands, it would probably carry your luggage for you too!


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They even have a pleasing frontage to ticketing and check-in. And have you seen those queues? No, neither have I! Just look at that remarkably short queue to ‘the other side.’ If you are like me, and you hate feeling like a sardine squashed into a box with too many others, this airport will be for you. I suppose if I was to be critical of anything here, it is the fact that although it is meant to be a small airport, it somehow feels too empty. However, what you do have is nice texturing and lighting, and the modelling of both objects and people is to a good standard.


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If we turn our attention to the exterior, enviro-savvy passengers will immediately be happy to see the number of solar panels draped down the side of many of the roof sides. Then you have the other various shades and textures of different materials on the roof, from glass to wood to solar panelling. Whilst easily overlooked or minimised by some, the importance of such accurate re-modelling to detail has not been so by Northern Sky Studio. That attention to detail extends to a number of other ‘icing-on-the-cake’ objects such as well-modelled trees, trailers, signage, hangars and terminals. However, the one thing I would have liked to have seen, but is sadly lacking, is people. Without a population, it just feels rather…lonely.


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Focusing on the exterior textures, the runway and surrounding paving areas are done well. There is enough shading and texture in the asphalt to indicate accurate wear and tear for an airport of this size, and the paving slabs that act as parking areas for the aircraft are suitably weather-worn. The grass is one area that I personally would like to see improved though, as it has a very flat, ‘rolled-out’ look to it. Better shading and texture would greatly enhance the grass, because at the moment it just feels a little flat.


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When darkness sets in, you'll be glad to know that the airport provides varying degrees of lighting techniques to set the scene, both externally and internally and the results are most pleasing to the eye.


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Now we come to it; would I recommend Northern Sky Studio’s Lanai Airport to you? Well, at a fairly priced US$12.00, it is certainly one you should give serious consideration to if you like the smaller airport. Not only is it a lovely airport to explore, but the surrounding scenery is also beautiful, and Northern Sky Studio have created a wonderful little package with an equally matching price tag.

What about value for money?

With everyone being affected by the cost of living crisis, price is definitely a consideration for a great many people, and this foresight has not been overlooked by Northern Sky Studio. Given the quality of the package you get with Lanai Airport, it is certainly value for money. As such, it pays dividends in the quite moments of R&R that so few of us get enough of these days.

In short, weighing up all the pros and cons of this airport, yes, I would recommend purchasing this quaint little airport nestled in the islands of Hawaii. 

Happy flying, safe living!





Lanai Airport by Northern Sky Studio is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here:


Lanai Airport

Price is US$12.00



X-Plane 11 (or X-Plane 12 when available)
Windows, Mac or Linux
4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
Download Size: 563 MB
Current version : 1.0 (June 21st 2022)


Review by Felicity Smith

21st July 2022

Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews


Review System Specifications: 

Windows 10, AMD Ryzen 5 2600 (overclocked to 4.1GHz), 1650 4Gb, 32GB RAM, 256 M.2 SSD, 2TB HD


(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) All Rights Reserved



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