Hi.  So, I recently got a chance to pick this back up.  In principle,
everything is finished:  I have a set of signs which are designed
as per the U.S. FAA regs (FAA AC-150-5340-18C, Standards for Airport
Sign Systems, and FAA AC-150-5345-44G, Specification for Taxiway and
Runway Signs).

I also have a script for generating .stg file entries.  Features:

- can read in airport data in either apt.dat or runways.dat format.
- will generate sign placements either for a single airport, a list
of airports (a list of ICAOs in a file), every airport in apt.dat
or runways.dat (but not heliports or seaplane bases), or every
airport in apt.dat that has the "has runway distance remaining signs"
flag set.
- can place signs using any of the three layout methods given by
the FAA regs.
- makes sure that there are no signs placed on top of intersecting or
nearby runways or taxiways.  Specifically, it makes sure that no signs
are placed within 50' of any other runway/taxiway at the airport.  It
attempts to adjust the positioning of a sign to avoid such a conflict,
omitting the sign entirely if it'd have to be moved by more than 50'
along the runway length, as per the FAA regs.

I'd like to contribute this to FlightGear -- I think they'd make a
nice addition to the scenery at the airports where it'd be appropriate
to have them.  However, I'm stuck on one thing that I'm hoping those
who build scenery will advise:  what's the best way to write this stuff
out?  Is the best option to:

- have the script determine the tile numbers, go to the .stg files, and
insert the sign entries directly?
- have the script create an "installation" script, into which the sign
entries are embedded (e.g. as a here document); such a script could also
have a removal option, to take the signs back out?
- do things monolithically, or by airport (could be lots of files if
doing all relevant airports)?

To be of most use to the project, how should this script write its info?


P.S.  As an aside, the routines for determining whether a sign hits
a runway/taxiway, and adjusting its position, could be trivially
adapted to get beacons and windsocks off of runways where that happens
currently.  I'd be happy to do that.  Yes, the right thing to do is to
fix the numbers in apt.dat/runways.dat.  But in the short term,
replacing a wrong location that puts a beacon right in the middle of
a runway with another nearby wrong value that *doesn't* put the beacon
on top of a runway seems like a good idea to me.

Chris Metzler                   [EMAIL PROTECTED]
                (remove "snip-me." to email)

"As a child I understood how to give; I have forgotten this grace since I
have become civilized." - Chief Luther Standing Bear

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