FlightAware’s Data Sources

FlightAware began as a free interface into a single data feed from the FAA. Today, FlightAware provides the most accurate and comprehensive flight tracking by fusing data from thousands of sources around the world.

Data Sources

Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs)
ACARS Datalink (VHF or SATCOM)
FlightAware’s Terrestrial ADS-B Network
Aireon℠ Space-Based ADS-B
Airline FLIFO

More data means better flight tracking. But first, it requires sophisticated processing capabilities. 

The HyperFeed® machine learning and rules engine uses thousands of proprietary models and algorithms to compile, evaluate and aggregate over 10,000 aircraft position messages per second.

About FlightAware’s Data Sources

View our coverage map here.

Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs)

FlightAware receives ATC RADAR positions and flight plan information from Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) in 45 countries. ANSP flight plan information includes real-time departure, arrival and delay information as well as flow management and delay program messages for flights operating to, from or within the ANSP’s air space. In addition to radar position data, these ANSPs also provide transoceanic positions relayed via high frequency (HF) and/or satellite communication systems. FlightAware has transoceanic ANSP coverage for the North Pacific, South Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans.

ACARS Datalink (VHF or SATCOM)

FlightAware integrates position reports and flight information (FLIFO) data from over 10,000 aircraft through agreements with virtually every VHF or satellite datalink provider.

FlightAware’s Terrestrial ADS-B Network

FlightAware operates a worldwide network of over 30,000 terrestrial ADS-B receivers. This network is comprised of FlightAware users who host ground stations that feed us flight tracking data. The receivers capture real-time positions, multiple times per minute for aircraft flying over land as well as surface movement at hundreds of airports around the world. They can also track aircraft not yet equipped with ADS-B out through a process called multilateration (MLAT).

Hosting an ADS-B ground station improves public flight tracking on FlightAware’s free website and mobile app. Learn more about FlightAware’s terrestrial ADS-B network and how you can join the effort.

Aireon℠ Space-Based ADS-B Network

FlightAware fuses position data from Aireon’s space-based ADS-B network with flight information to provide 100% truly global flight tracking with position updates at least once every minute. The Aireon℠ network is hosted on the Iridium® NEXT constellation of satellites. The constellation provides the first and only solution that exceeds GADSS standards and recommended practices (SARPs) for global flight tracking.

Airline FLIFO

FlightAware imports real-time out/off/on/in (OOOI) and flight information (FLIFO) data from most airline service systems. FLIFO information includes flight plan, departure time, arrival time and any cancellation messages.

Learn more about our flight tracking tools and data services.

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