Airport Rush
Source: Canadian Broadcasting Company.

Airport Rush Game: How Many Airplanes Can You Clear?

Warning: this simple game can be addictive.

Today is Friday, September 16, 2022, which means the weekend has started — and what better way is there to kick it off than with something fun? Airport Rush is a simple game which was brought to my attention by derek, who is a reader of The Gate.

Airport Rush Game: How Many Airplanes Can You Clear?

This is the e-mail message which derek sent to me:

“This link is probably not a good ‘What is Wrong with This Photograph?’ but may be a fun link to play with. It’s the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) kid’s games. Funny, because the CBC is a news and TV company, not a gaming website. I just discovered it today. At level 3, I got to 27 planes cleared. Essentially, the game is to clear the planes for landing and also make sure there is enough gate space for the planes. Enjoy!”

The object of this game is that you play the role of air traffic controller at an airport which progressively becomes busier. Airplanes simultaneously land, take off, and taxi to and from the terminal — and when the first crash between two airplanes happens, the game is over.

Okay — I figured I would try it out for myself.

Airport Rush
Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

You choose from Terminal 1, Terminal 2, or Terminal 3. Terminal 1 is the easiest; whereas Terminal 3 is the most difficult.

The image below is what the airport can look like prior to a crash between two airplanes occurring — especially when the gates become completely occupied by airplanes.

Airport Rush
Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

A circle must be clicked on in order for a task to be completed. This is where the operator is in control — for a brief period of time, anyway, as the:

  • Blue circle with the airplane pointing downwards means that an airplane is coming in for a landing.
  • Yellow circle with the airplane pointing upwards means that an airplane is ready to take off on the runway.
  • Green circle with the airplane and the traffic control tower means that an airplane is waiting to approach a gate at the terminal.
  • Light green circle with the airplane level to the ground means that an airplane is ready to depart from the gate at the terminal.

The white line around each circle is a timer. When the white line becomes gray, time has expired and the airplane will attempt to complete the task. You must complete the task before time runs out in order to maintain control.

I worked my way from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 — the latter of which I scored 30 airplanes.

Airport Rush
Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Final Boarding Call

This game from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is so deceptively simple — but yet, it is potentially addictive.

Try this game called Airport Rush for yourself and please report what is your best score with each terminal.

Darn you — I mean, thank you — derek

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

  1. With Terminal 3 (faster level), it seems that 30 is nearly the maximum attainable. I’ve reached 30. However, there are additional strategies that I have not yet tested.

    1. Use a mouse, not a touchpad. A touch screen might be even faster if one has a computer touchscreen and its response time is instantaneous.

    2. Allow improper runway separation. For example, as an aircraft is almost ready to take off and lined up on the runway, you can land another aircraft so that it lands over the aircraft taking off. The aircraft taking off will then overfly the landing aircraft before it exits the aircraft.

    3. It may be useful to slow down the rate incoming aircraft. This is because the terminal capacity is merely 4 gates with a turnaround time of roughly 18 seconds per gate, once the aircraft docks. To slow down the rate of incoming aircraft, let the arriving aircraft land when the timer ends. The exception is that #2. If a plane is about to take off, click to land another plane on the same runway milliseconds before takeoff.

    3b. When both runways have planes landing, force a plane to land on the runway closes to the terminal first, even half a second sooner, so that it will exit the runway first. Otherwise, there’s a risk of collision on the taxiway.

    With these measures, it might be possible to increase airport capacity so 33-35 planes can take off. One point is received for each plane that takes off.

    A final note, what planes are used? To me, they look like a Cessna 182, Boeing 767-200, and Airbus A340-200. That’s an odd combination so I’ve mentally substituted these to be Firefly (of Malaysia) ATR72, Silkair (Singapore Airlines subsidiary) A340-200, and Hifly 767 operating for Qantas at Terminal 4 in Singapore. Alternatively, it could be Minerva Dornier 328 operating for Alitalia, Air France Airbus A320, and Lufthansa Airbus A340 (different shade from current livery) operating out of a truncated Terminal 2 satellite. Minerva stopped flying in 2003 and the Terminal 2 satellite came later, so that is what is wrong with this photograph.

  2. I am reporting some of my new findings. About my speculation on #3 in the first reply, do NOT try to slow down the arrivals. What will happen is that if you are delaying the landing of the 2 runways, there will be a 3rd plane coming to land but it will not show you a blue circle. Therefore, it is advantageous to land planes as fast as the gate space and taxiway allows.

    When the game speeds up, the first priority should be to clear the gates. If there’s a timer to free open a gate and to take off, choose freeing up the gate first. That’s because the rate limiting action is likely the gate space. The take off timer is the least rate limiting. However, when the game is about to end, the last action done should be take off in the hopes that you’ll get one more plane to take off and increase your score by one.

    I now believe that the highest score normally possible is about 30, that if reflexes are fast and luck is on your side, maybe 32 is possible. Terminal 1 and 2 appears to have a slower ramp up at first so it’s longer until it becomes frantic but the final score is likely a little lower than 30.

    1. I did eventually get to a score of 32 with Terminal 3, derek; so it is possible to do.

      It was not easy — but it is possible.

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