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When Taxi2Gate announced that they would be releasing Pointe-A-Pitre, located on the Caribbean island of Grande-Terre in Guadeloupe, everyone was a little shocked it would be released so soon. Announced on a gloomy Monday morning, the package went live on Wednesday evening. Immediately everyone rushed to download it to see if it matched the quality of their recent release, Istanbul. So far, I am equally, if not more impressed. TFFR is in a fantastic location, and an interesting airport. Situated in the Caribbean, Taxi2Gate return back to where some of their earliest work originated. Seeing nearly 2.5 million passengers a year, it makes it the second busiest airport in the Lesser Antilles, which is just behind Barbados’ Grantly Adams International Airport. The airport is capable of housing the A380 and with frequent Air France flights taking place, it’s a great chance to try a somewhat challenging approach for the big bird. As you circle around the airport’s northerly runway, high terrain blocks you from a straight in approach. Instead, you need to fly through various waypoints to avoid the danger, circling from left to right – during the right (or wrong) weather conditions, this could be a case of cloud-dodging from approach to landing (or even result in a go-around). As you do swoon in for the final approach, you’ll either come in from over the sea, or glide past huge amounts of forestation underneath you. Even as you roll down the runway, your wings will almost be brushing the surrounding vegetation. It’s obvious that this is a Taxi2Gate scenery package – they have a very distinct art direction. It’s certainly not a negative, as they manage to blend just enough artistic flare and realism to provide clear, crisp and clean visuals which balance perfectly in the world of Flight Sim. I am a big fan of their art direction. The clarity between apron, taxiway, runway and landscaping is so well executed that it makes it a joy to just taxi around aimlessly looking for the next surprise they have in store for you. It’s so colourful, yet very realistic. Something that also really impresses me, is the ways in which these guys manage to breathe new leases of life into their scenery. In this instance, it’s the wild life and shrubbery that really immerse you into their airport. Birds are flying around the airport constantly, just as they would in a real Caribbean airport, palm trees, bushes and foliage sprawl from all around the airport and through the cracks in the runway and taxiways. It’s so refreshing to see a developer not only focus on the realism of an airport, but also the atmosphere. Not only does the airport have frequent visitors from big airliners, it also serves as a hub to one of the Caribbean’s biggest island hopper and air mail airlines. Frequently using the diverse Twin Otter, it gives Simmers the chance to do small trips around the island flying at low altitude. Whilst Taxi2Gate didn’t recreate the whole island, it’s still a wonderful opportunity to try a challenging and somewhat different approach and landing for the little aeroplane. Backtracking a little and heading back to the quality of modelling and texture work, the team have put in, the terminal buildings and surrounding housing looks as impressive as ever. Air-bridges move with the CTRL+J key and connect nicely to your aircraft of choice. As you check the load sheets and program the autopilot, you’ll notice that the inside of the terminal buildings are also nicely modelled. It’s a great perk that helps immerse you even further into TFFR. As dawn approaches, and the low Caribbean sun presides over the airport, the night lighting really takes pride of place in Taxi2Gate’s latest work. The terminal buildings light up elegantly and the runway and approach lights, flash, strobe and flicker just like the real thing. Taxiway signs are lit up beautifully and the aprons are fully lit, just as you would expect in real life. It is astonishing to see how well the teams at Taxi2Gate work. The quality certainly hasn’t suffered and the surprise release have really set Taxi2Gate apart from the rest. TFFR sits amongst one of my favourite airports to fly into – with its diverse range of airlines, challenging approaches and high terrain. I would even go as far to see it’s an airport I prefer over Saint Marteen. An exceptional job from an exceptional developer, makes it an absolute must buy and one you’ll find new and interesting ways to fly into each time. Purchase Taxi2Gate's Pointe-A-Pitre Airport My Specs: Processor - 3.5GHz Intel Core i5-3770K Ivy Bridge (OVERCLOCKED TO 4.8GHz) RAM - 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 2133 (PC3 12800) GPU - GeForce GTX 780 FTW 3GB GDDR5 Mother Board - ASUS P8Z77-V LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard Hard Drives - 2 x 128gb OCZ SSD + 2 x 1tb 7200RPM HDD Operating System - Windows 7 (64-bit) Add-ons Used In Screenshots: Scenery - Taxi2Gate's Pointe-A-Pitre Airport Aircraft - Aerosoft's Twin Otter / PMDG's 777LR/F X Utilities - REX4 Textures, Active Sky Next, SteveFX DX10 Fixer (Also tested with DX9), FTX Global