Flight tracking provider FlightAware has made its comprehensive data set available to customers who can use the company’s new AeroAPI application programming interface (API) to view the data. Although FlightAware (Stand 3631) has already provided some of this information, such access required the assistance of a FlightAware analyst.
“What we have here is an unprecedented set of data to understand what happened, is happening and will happen,” said Matt Davis, chief commercial officer of FlightAware. “It’s like a time portal.”
The FlightAware dataset includes more than 713 million flights recorded since the company was founded in 2011, and that’s growing by more than 142,000 flights per day, according to Davis. Collins Aerospace acquired FlightAware in late 2021.
Airlines, business jet operators, FBOs, aircraft manufacturers, and individuals use FlightAware to track flights, including pushback, departure, landing, and arrival times. gate, as well as in-flight events such as reservations. This gives users detailed information about the flights they are tracking and the ability to predict with high accuracy where and when the plane will arrive. “It’s based on machine learning,” he said, “and it’s better than the flight management system itself.”
AeroAPI is a request-based API, he explained. “It’s nothing more than saying we have a menu where you can place your order with the waiter, the waiter goes to the kitchen – our database – gets the thing you ordered and then the brings on a plate with utensils to consume well.You ask a question about a flight or a set of flights, a fleet or something that happened in an airport, and the API takes the instruction, enters the dataset, finds the relevant answer and delivers it to you.
FlightAware expects many types of users to find AeroAPI and historical data useful, according to Davis. Fleet operators could get insights to help improve efficiency. An aircraft manufacturer could delve into historical data of the planes it has built to learn how they are operated, where they are flown and how often, which could help plan new models.
Reviewing the data can show where parts need to be located to keep customer planes flying. A rental/management company can use the data to find new markets and customers. “There are great benefits to having access to this data,” he said. “We encourage app developers to use this data.”
An interactive developer page is available to assist customers, including a repository of sample application and service kits that can be easily adapted. Data pricing depends on usage, with three subscription levels available. The highest offers access to premium data layers.
At the launch of AeroAPI, FlightAware is making available up to 10 days of historical data, but this will expand to the full data set within three months.
“Data is an untapped frontier for aviation,” Davis said. “Industry is looking for great ways to unlock new capabilities without having to throw labor and people into trouble. They need better information on how to make better decisions, allocate resources more efficiently, and do more with less.