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In 1970, a movie based on the book Airport by Arthur Hailey gave some insight into the ups and downs of running a major big city airport. Disasters, management, security and operations were all part of the mix and the film led to an additional half dozen or so airport-theme movies over the ensuing decades. Now you, too, can build, manage and experience the problems and rewards of having your own airport in Krisalis' Airport Tycoon (which, incidentally, is not based on the movie or book).
Unlike the original movie, the game doesn't dwell on the soap operatic aspects of the people involved, but it does offer the chance to create an airport from the ground up. The main objective in Airport Tycoon is to build and manage a top airport with all the basic elements in place. These core requirements include building a terminal or cargo building (depending on what type of airport you want), a passenger parking lot, runways, control tower, fire station and airplane facility.
Many other options are available in the design phase of your airport. More than 75 cities are offered as possible locales, each with unique traffic and weather considerations. Negotiate contracts with over 200 airlines and 200 contractors to establish the facilities and operations pertaining to flight and cargo carriers (and retailers) you want as the backbone of your facility. Create and maintain security for your terminal and airplanes, control taxi, road and rail connections for your passengers and cargo, manage potential disasters involving aircraft, delays and airspace congestion, and monitor restaurants and other daily aspects of airport management.
The game features a tutorial as well as multiple camera views and supports (but does not require) 3D acceleration. Gameplay is handled through a series of on-screen menus, reports and a comprehensive set of action icons. Airport Tycoon was originally released under the title Airport Inc. in Europe. As owner and manager, it's up to you to deal with the bomb threats, refueling operations, bad weather, delays and baggage snafus. Can you keep the planes in the sky, the people moving and the operations running smoothly? Give it a try as you attempt to become a successful Airport Tycoon. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide