flight status

Introduction of Flight Alert PUSH API

We’re introducing a new big feature: Flight Alert PUSH API. It facilitates the delivery of flight data in a fundamentally different manner. Instead of polling flight status or FIDS endpoint again and again in order to get data updates, you can now subscribe to a certain flight or airport and get notified automatically whenever an update occurs.

Currently, we support webhook notifications: upon subscription, you provide us a URL. Then, our system will be sending HTTP requests containing notification JSON-formatted data to this URL whenever a flight update occurs. URL has to meet certain requirements.

We support subscribing to flight data either by flight number or by airport ICAO code. This way you can receive updates regarding specific flights as well as all movements in specific airports.

We strongly encourage you to explore relevant documentation to become aware of all the details, limitations, and implications. The most important of them are:

  • Flight subscriptions have a limited lifetime (currently, 7 days). This is so because even a single subscription can generate a significant amount of notifications. In order to prevent over-use and/or abuse of API, we keep subscriptions time-framed.  However, any subscription can be refreshed before its expiration by making a relevant API call, thus prolonging its lifetime (see documentation).
  • Similar to FIDS or flight status endpoints, the availability of flight subscription notifications is subject to the same data coverage and quality limitations. Therefore, before subscribing, always ensure that a flight or an airport is receiving live or ADS-B updates. If a flight / an airport only has static scheduled data and never receives live or ADS-B updates, there is no sense in subscribing to it: you will simply waste your API calls quota! Read more on this and how you can ensure this in the description to Create webhook subscription endpoint and in Data Coverage guidance.

Pricing plans were also adjusted in order to incorporate Flight subscriptions / PUSH API as well as to re-balance the whole pricing system. If you want to make use of the new PUSH API, you need to resubscribe to the new versions of the pricing plans. 

Please be aware that we only include the creation and refresh of webhook subscriptions into pricing quotas, whilst deletion and retrieving information about an existing subscription is always free of charge on any plan. We also do not charge for notification calls.You can already try the new Flight Subscription / PUSH API in the RapidAPI playground.

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.

Searching for Flight Status by ATC Call-sign, Aircraft Registration or Aircraft 24-bit ICAO Mode-S transponder address

We are introducing more capabilities to search for flight status. 

From now on, you can look for individual flight information not only by flight number but also by ATC call-sign, registration or 24-bit ICAO Mode-S hexadecimal transponder address of the aircraft operating the flight. 

New search capabilities are delivered by introducing new endpoints: 

  • Flight by aircraft registration (and date) 
  • Flight by ATC call sign (and date) 
  • Flight by ICAO 24-bit Mode-S address (and date) 
  • Flight departure dates by aircraft registration (within range) 
  • Flight departure dates by ATC call sign (within range) 
  • Flight departure dates by ICAO 24-bit Mode-S address (within range) 

The behavior, contracts, and pricing of each of the new endpoints remain the same as for similar endpoints operating based on flight number.

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

Flight Status & Schedule, Flight Delay Statistics, FIDS, Airport Delay Index

We’ve been recently busy adding a few more endpoints to the AeroDataBox API. Now you are able to:

  • Get flight status or schedule for a specific date as well as for the nearest flight;
  • Get flight delay statistics;
  • Get departures and arrivals list per airport and within a given time range (FIDS);
  • Get current airport delay statistics (delay index).

 In addition, fixed a few major bugs in data aggregation, which should increase data quality. And also, many flights with live updates are now having registrations of actual aircraft operating these flights.

There is currently no limitation on date time ranges you can request the information (no matter how much data is kept in the system, you are currently able to access it all). But, keep in mind, however, that live flight update information is yet available for only a few hundred airports mostly located in Europe. As demand for API will grow, coverage will be increased. Static flight schedule information, however, is available to a much bigger extent.

Also, I have expanded the overall description of the API and detailed documentation, which can be found here: https://aerodatabox.com

Thanks for using AeroDataBox API!