FlightAware Releases Major Improvements to Airline Flight Tracking

Thursday, June 17, 2010 12:00AM
Last updated 7 years ago.
FlightAware is proud to release a major upgrade to airline flight tracking on FlightAware.com. We have been working behind the scenes for several months to enhance our flight tracking services by adding many new features that are important to our users that track airline flights. When using FlightAware.com to track airline flights, you will now receive international coverage, gate information, as well as more timely, accurate, and relevant information.

New features in detail

    For many airlines at non-US airports, we now display real-time arrival and departure times as well as flight status information. You no longer have to wait for for the flight to get close to US or Western European airspace.

    Instead of displaying "Scheduled / Not Yet Departed" until an airliner is airborne, we will now display "Taxiing (pushed from the gate X minutes ago)" for many airlines. Additionally, for supported flights, the "Status" row distinguishes between "Arrived" and "Landed" now; we will display taxi information upon landing.

    We are starting to display terminals, gate assignments, and baggage claim carousel numbers information at most major airlines and airports around the world.

    For most airline flights, you can now click on the "Scheduled" or "Actual/Estimated" column headers and view a list of all known times (gate pushback/takeoff/landing/averages/etc) that FlightAware has -- up to 14 in many cases.

    Last summer, we began tracking (radar positions on a map) many flights in Western Europe. With these improvements, we are more than doubling the number of flights that we can show real-time positions for. Additionally, we now list aircraft types for European flights where previously we tracked the flight but lacked the equipment details and other flight/route/schedule specifics.

    For many airline flights, we've reduced the 5-6 minute delay to less than a minute for takeoffs and landings (but not positions).

    Last year, British Airways, Virgin, and United (in some rare cases) began flying under flight identifiers that were not their flight number. For example, BAW11M instead of BAW287. This made the flights very difficult to track because there is often no pattern to the renumbering and users tracking BAW287, for example, would get no data other than "Scheduled" data. This is now corrected and we no longer use the alphanumeric assignments. You can now track the flight by the carrier and flight number now instead of by the arbitrary call sign.

    We added the ability to "Track inbound flight" for dozens of airlines (including United, Continental, Delta, Air Canada, ANA, and many more) so that you can track the specific aircraft that's scheduled to operate your flight if it's not yet at your origin. We're adding several more airlines in the next couple months.

    On airport activity pages, for both general aviation and airline flights, we'll now show a much more accurate estimated departure/takeoff time rather than the scheduled/filed departure time.

    The ability to track an airliner by the registration number. For supported airlines, you can type in the registration (e.g., N12345) and track that individual airplane, even if it flies as an airline flight identifier.

    We now display scheduled flights in the "Activity Log" up to 36-48 hours in advance (previously only 24).

    We now support regional formatting for date formats, temperatures, and more based on your location or preferences. FlightAware will auto-detect your preferred formats and begin to use that data to present data in a format and language that makes more sense to you. If you prefer a different language or format, you can select from the drop-down at the top next to the flag(s). We currently support proper locale formatting for English (US, UK, and Australia), Japanese, Chinese, French, Spanish (Spain), German, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, Hindi, and Korean. So, depending on where you are, we can tell you about your flight on 金曜日 or the weather on Dienstag. We'll be adding more languages/formats and expanding our use of our existing languages to include translations.

    Regional maps and weather data will be based on your present position (e.g., map of Europe instead of US if you are in London).

    Dozens of minor changes and improvements, such as: more international time zone support, more predictable results from the flight finder as well as a new "Left Gate" status, better international IATA/ICAO support for airline and airport codes, improved airline search functionality, flight data formatting improvements on tracking pages, more streamlined display for mobile devices, supporting (+2) for flights that land two days later, improved duration calculator for airborne flights, and much more.

Coming Summer 2010

    We'll be adding all these new features to our new iPhone App (launched on June 11th).

    Additional gate/terminal/bag claim data for airlines not included in this release

    Support for more countries, locales, and fully translated versions of FlightAware

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