I love this new tool for tracking worldwide flights…. now get me on one of those KC-130’s to McMurdo!
Flightradar24 is a flight tracking service that provides you with real-time info about thousands of aircraft around the world.
Flightradar24 shows live air traffic from around the world. The primary technology we use to receive flight information is called automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B). The ADS-B technology itself is best explained by the image to the right.
Aircraft gets its location from a GPS navigation source (satellite)
ADS-B unit on aircraft transmits signal containing about the location (and much and more)
ADS-B signal is picked up by a receiver connected to Flightradar24
Receiver feeds data to Flightradar24
Today, roughly 60% of all passenger aircraft (70% in Europe, 30% in the US) are equipped with an ADS-B transponder. This percentage is steadily increasing as ADS-B is set to replace radar as the primary surveillance method for controlling aircraft.
In addition to ADS-B data, we also get data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States. This data is based on radar data and includes all commercial air traffic in US and Canadian air space (i.e. not just planes with ADS-B transponders). Unlike the ADS-B data that is presented real-time, the FAA data is delayed by roughly 5 minutes due to FAA regulations. On the Flightradar24 map, all planes based on FAA data are orange.