FlightAware tracker

Easy to use, live & reliable – FlightAware

FlightAware – a global aviation software company

The company operates a web site and mobile application that enables free tracing of private and commercial aircraft in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It is currently the world’s largest user tracking web site. FlightAware tracker also provides aircraft and airport operators and other aerospace organizations with services and data to assist them in their operations. FlightAware provides aircraft operators worldwide with corporate services and tools as well as flight tracking systems at airports in more than 50 countries in North America, Europe and Oceania.

The story

In late 2004, CEO Daniel Baker began exploring the idea of setting up a free flight search service. He wanted his family to pursue his private flights throughout the country. At that time, there were few enterprise solutions that offered this kind of service. Baker recruited the friends Karl Lehenbauer and David McNett to create a free public flight search service. On March 17, 2005, FlightAware tracker was officially founded and began processing live flight data. For the first 18 months, FlightAware generated over $ 1 million in revenue.

Before the company was located at 11 Greenway Plaza, the suite was in Suite 1300 at 8 Greenway Plaza; originally the FlightAware headquarters was in the Midtown area of Houston. The CEO of FlightAware tracker cited Houston’s cheap office space, geographic proximity to the rest of the country, and the lack of city or state income tax as an asset to the location.

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FlightAware tracker – the technology

To determine the flight data mainly two methods or methods are used. This refers to the Multilateration (short MLAT) procedures and data that are transmitted via the “automatic dependent surveillance broadcast” (short ADS-B).

Multilateration (MLAT)

Lateration or trilateration is a measurement method for determining the position of a point using distance and distance measurements at three points. If GPS satellites are used for this positioning and there are data from three different receivers, one speaks of a multilateration. Put simply, the position of an aircraft is determined by measuring the distance to more than two receivers at different times. From this data, the speed and exact position can then be extrapolated. This method is used for aircraft that are not yet sending ADS-B data or traveling in environments with few ADS-B receivers.

Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast(ADS-B)

FlightAware primarily uses ADS-B data for its service. Not all aircraft are equipped with an ADS-B transponder. According to Flightradar24 estimates, 70 percent of commercial aircraft worldwide currently have a transponder. All newly manufactured aircraft now have an ADS-B transponder installed. The following information is transmitted via the ADS-B signal every second on the frequency 1090 MHz:

  • geographical coordinates
  • flight number
  • type of aircraft
  • time signal
  • planned flight direction
  • speed
  • altitude

An ADS-B signal can be received by anyone, perfectly legal. Due to the high frequency of 1090 MHz, the range of the signal is limited to 250-400 kilometers. Thus, for example, it is very difficult to receive ADS-B data over the oceans.

FlightAware terminal

The FlightAware website

The company’s website provides flight data and notifications on private and commercial flights as well as airport activities, flight and airport maps with weather data, air traffic statistics, flight planning and instrument flight rules for airports in the US and Australia. In addition, the site includes pilot services such as flight planning, aviation news, photos and an aviation discussion forum.

Users can register for free at the website. This will add several features and the opportunity to participate in the community. By registering, users can upload photos, submit aviation messages, join discussion forums, and set up aircraft alarms, among many other features. FlightAware tracker announced more than 10 million registered users in January 2019.

The conclusion to FlightAware

FlightAware gives you the ability to track every flight on your smartphone, tablet or PC. To track a specific flight on the interactive flight map, simply enter the name of each airline and the associated flight number in the search box. If you do not have the flight number at hand, you can also find a flight by entering the departure airport and destination airport. FlightAware lists all flights that are in progress or planned between the airports you have entered. So you can easily and simply find the flight you are looking for.