How many times have we heard about the “Scenery Gateway System” since the launch of Microsoft Flight Simulator back in 2020? It remains one of the most requested features from the community and it’s something the MSFS team has been working on for quite some time. There was even hope that it could be released last year, but that clearly hasn’t happened… however, it seems things are aligning for deployment soon: the World Hub, as it’s being called by the MSFS team, is now planned to launch alongside Sim Update 13, this September.
Jayne Ivana, Community Manager at Microsoft Flight Simulator, addressed the community’s curiosity about the World Hub’s previous absence from World Update 14. Jayne explained that the World Hub is currently undergoing comprehensive reviews for accessibility and privacy requirements, with the goal of introducing this innovative system as swiftly as possible.
So, what exactly is this “World Hub”, you wonder? It’s actually something pretty interesting that, despite some understandable limitations, promises to transform the way many airports are depicted in Microsoft Flight Simulator. The system encourages the community to take control and customize their preferred airports, sharing that work with the whole MSFS user base through official updates.
The World Hub interface will allow users to search and select any airport available in the simulator, which they can then modify in a dedicated development mode using a scenery editor. These modifications can include tweaking generic airport data such as ground surfaces, vegetation, and other related features using the platform’s vast library of assets. This is key: only default assets can be used to enhance/fix existing airports, thus protecting the work of third-party developers with their custom creations.
Post-customization, users can submit their enhanced airport back to the platform for review. Approved projects will then be processed and integrated into an upcoming official update, making the modified airports accessible to the entire user base.
This video from last year explains what the World Hub is all about.
Despite its delayed release, the World Hub will certainly be a very interesting addition to Microsoft Flight Simulator, offering the opportunity for simmers to contribute to the platform in a unique and tangible way. Hopefully this will be an efficient way to fix an incorrect taxiway at a particular airport or tweak tree height near the threshold. See this as a way for the community to help improve the base platform with precise tweaks, rather than full-on scenery customisations that are available elsewhere as free or paid add-ons.
Notably, approved modifications from the World Hub will be available on both PC and Xbox versions of MSFS, thus extending its reach and impact to a larger community. Let’s see if it finally becomes available next month!