Flight take-off and landing time &Runway detection based on ADS-B data, More flights, and status updates

We are continuing to expand capabilities related to analyzing actual flight tracks with reliance on community-maintained ADS-B data provided by third-party. Attentive users could have already noticed that for some airports AeroDataBox API has started providing:

  • Flight runway data, which we introduced as a response to requests of a few users to have some capabilities to help the analysis of actual / expected taxi time to/from the terminal:
    • Actual flight landing and take-off times.
    • Actual runway of departure or arrival (the runway from which a flight took off from or landed on).
      This is rather new and you won’t normally find this piece of information in other data sources. 
  • Extra flights and extra flight status updates:
    • Adding extra flights not normally available on online departure and arrival boards (we started to get more insight on the movement of cargo flights, corporate jets, general aviation, etc.).
    • Live flight status updates for airports without live flight status coverage (limited to actual departure time and status for departing flights and expected and actual time and status for arriving ones).

All these capabilities are based on automated analysis of the actual trajectory of aircraft in the vicinity of this or that airport based on transponder ADS-B data.  

The feature is currently in early-stage mode, so we are going to increase its precision and enable support for more and more locations in the upcoming weeks. We have this feature currently enabled for the following airports:  CYVR, CYYC, EBBR, EDDB, EDDF, EDDH, EDDK, EDDL, EDDM, EDDS, EDDT, EDDV, EDLV, EGCC, EGGD, EGGW, EGHI, EGKK, EGLC, EGLL, EGNX, EGPH, EGSS, EHAM, EHBK, EHEH, EHKD, EHLE, EHRD, EIDW, ENGM, EPKT, GMMN, HECA, KATL, KDFW, KEWR, KJFK, KLAS, KLAX, KLGA, KPHX, KSEA, KSFO, LEMD, LFBD, LFML, LFPG, LGAV, LICJ, LLBG, LMML, LPFR, LPMA, LPPT, LSZH, NZAA, OERK, PANC, PHNL, RCSS, RCTP, RJAA, RJTT, RKSI, SBKP, SBSP, SDAM, SEQM, SPJC, UAAA, UIII, UKBB, UKKK, UNEE, UNNT, UUBW, UUDD, UUEE, VHHH, VIDP, VOBL, VOMM, VTBD, VTBS, WIII, WMKK, YBNA, YMML, YPAD, YPPH, YSSY, ZUCK

Here you can also see statistics on how many flights (in absolute and relatively) had both runway and runway time detected: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1536Jo9wJx-HR-8Qy15hBfnQg-M7FlAzIxQwxKWwM00A/edit?usp=sharing 

We’re also going to update health-check endpoints soon, so you will be able to check which airports have this supplement ADS-B data service operational.

Please be aware of the following limitations:

  • Limited coverage.
    We, unfortunately, won’t be able this feature available worldwide due to the absence of local contributors of ADS-B data to our third-party provider.
  • This extra data is currently not guaranteed to be always available or correct even if an airport is considered covered.

    Though the precision of the algorithm is rather high when the data quality is reasonable, the algorithm is still heavily reliant on the quality and availability of the external data, which is subject to a myriad of factors out of our control (unusual trajectory of the aircraft, transponder peculiarities of an aircraft, individual ADS-B receiver’s location, range and operational hours in the vicinity of the airport, overall coverage of the third-party provider). 
  • Naturally, this data will only be available retroactively due to how ADS-B operates. We only will be able to retrieve the data once the aircraft is departed, on approach, or arrived. There will be no significant look-ahead.

    This way, data may be partially unavailable because, for instance:
    – right after take-off an airplane has taken an unusual/sharp turn (due to ATC instructions, circuit pattern, weather, evasion maneuver, etc.) over an airport with multiple runways located close or unevenly (like, San Francisco or Amsterdam Schiphol) and the system is no longer able unambiguously “guess” the right take-off runway;
    – the only local contributor’s ADS-B receiver in the vicinity of the airport went down due to network or power problems -> no extra data will be available during this period of time, despite normally it is.
    – etc.

Please feel free to try it and don’t hesitate to report any bugs.