Following flights in real time: Only a few years ago, the practice of flight tracking was exclusively restricted to certain professionals. Those who didn’t work in the aviation industry didn’t have access to a flight radar. Ordinary citizens had to observe aircraft directly from the ground and could only do so as long as the eyes could see them. At best, the airline operating the aircraft could be identified by means of binoculars or a telescope. Real professionals could even sometimes recognize the type of aircraft. However, for some time now, it has been possible for anyone to follow flights and access interesting flight information. Nowadays, there are multiple providers offering flight tracking services. The trailblazer in this field, however, is flightradar24.

Follow flights on the Internet

Today, every Internet user is able to follow flights and access detailed information related to the operating aircraft, flight route and many other facts. Information regarding almost every commercial flight worldwide can be found online. Anyone can access the up-to-date status of any flight connection free of charge and follow it live online. As previously mentioned, the most popular flight tracking application is flightradar24.com. The leading provider of flight radar maps continues to advance its services even further. In addition to displaying interactive maps, detailed information regarding specific flights is made available. In the event of unusual flight movements, for example, due to severe weather, technical problems or military conflicts, users can obtain data from flightradar24 related to the affected flight. This information is made available, for example, to news portals or other media outlets to allow them to report these incidents accordingly. The cause of unusual flight movements can be determined and published based on this data.

Flight tracking – who are the providers of this service?

In addition to the already mentioned services provided by flightradar24, there are other providers offering map views of the global air traffic on the Internet. In many cases, the functions of these different service providers are very similar and are all based on the same principle. An interactive world map displaying the flights in the form of aircraft symbols is always the focal point. Due to the fact that the services are so similar, we will refrain from describing them in greater detail. However, the most popular services should be mentioned here:

  • Radarbox24
  • Planefinder
  • Flight-Aware
flight radar

Following flights – how does it work?

The above-mentioned services are all based on the same principle. Flights can be followed free of charge on a displayed map section. A map based on openstreetmap.org, for example, displays the current air traffic. Specifications about the precise location of the aircraft are based on real data of flight radar stations. This data is collected, compiled and transferred onto an interactive world map. This does not only make it possible to follow the precise flight route, but also allows you to access further details related to the relevant flight. Therefore, any user can obtain comprehensive details regarding a specific flight. Data made available includes the following:

  • Departure airport
  • Destination airport
  • Take-off time
  • Time of landing
  • Current flight altitude
  • Aircraft type

While tracking flights, the user can call up this information by simply clicking on the desired aircraft symbol on the map. If users are interested in following a very specific flight without having to search the corresponding aircraft symbol on the map, the flight number can simply be entered into the search field. In that case, all other flights will be hidden and disappear from the map. The above-mentioned detailed information related to the searched flight can now be accessed and viewed. Following a flight is very easy.

Who takes advantage of the option to follow flights?

Following flights on the Internet is not an unusual activity. Many people are simply fascinated by aircraft and air travel. Some actually try to get as close to a runway as possible to observe landings and take-offs. Others enjoy following flights as a kind of trophy hunt: The goal is to observe and photograph each aircraft type at least once during take-off or landing.
However, the flight radar is not only appealing to total aircraft enthusiasts. There are practical reasons that make it quite convenient to follow flights:

  • to discuss the re-routing of flights,
  • to check whether a flight arrives on time, before picking someone up at the airport,
  • to ensure that a house is not in close proximity to a flight route when searching for a new home,
  • to check out a travel route in advance, for example, to be able to pick an optimal seat with the best view,
  • to make sure that loved ones or friends make it to their destination safely and without incidents.

Summarising the above, it can be said that following flights is very compelling for many people and provides useful information. Many users are looking forward to the further development of the flight radar. Some providers are currently in the process of developing a 3D flight tracking version. There is no doubt that this version will enthuse even more people and further enhance flight tracking. Flight-radar.org will keep you up to date.