FSX AFCAD Files
AFCAD files are simply the compiled “.bgl” files that many versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator use to store the configuration of airports and airport data within the simulation program. They are used all the way from FS2002 up to the latest version, FSX – which is covered in this category. They have been expanded upon over the years and have always been open-to-edit so that developers and enthusiasts can modify the default airports themselves.
JFK airport updated and fixed with one of the AFCAD files for FSX. Image shows the terminal building.
The files in this category are for the many thousands of airports and airfields found within FSX. The files mainly consist of modified, updated or corrected “.bgl” files which bring the airport data up to date – changes or updates could include;
- Length or runways
- Updated terminal buildings
- New runways
- New/updated gates and ramps
- Updated or new ILS and radio communication information
- New AI traffic information based on real-world traffic
- Updated visual elements such as ground terrain, textures, taxiways and buildings around the airport/airfield
The format of these .bgl files is compiled XML, which is usually compiled by programs such as BglComp and Shp2Vec – both come as part of the FSX SDK. Once the XML files have been compiled, they can be read and loaded by FSX. You can create your own pre-compiled XML files with a text-based editor such as Windows Notepad for example. However, there are a few easy to use applications that provide a GUI, making editing your favourite airport even easier. If you are interested in editing airports yourself, the most comprehensive program available at the moment is Airport Design Editor by ScruffyDuck – it’s free to download and use.
Did you know, the acronym “AFCAD” (which stands for Airport and Facilities Data Computer Aided Design) is used loosely because the name “AFCAD” came from and old program developed by Lee Swordy for FS2002 and FS2004 and due to its popularity it has somehow become the accepted name for these .bgl files. Even new editors have promoted “AFCAD Editor” in their name.
Enjoy browsing the files in this section, it’s one of our most popular and for good reason – having the most up to date and accurate airport information in FSX is most important when realism is the goal.