Track Australian Flights via Web or Mobile Apps

Plan and Track Flights With FlightAware

FlightAware is a revolutionary flight tracking tool which allows individuals to track general aviation and commercial airline flights for free.

The above graphic is a screenshot of Virgin Australia Flight 1488 between Broome, Australia (BME), and Perth, Australia (PER).  It indicates arrival in 13 minutes at Terminal 3, Gate 20 at Perth International Airport.  A real-time flight-path and location is shown along with the altitude of the Embraer-190 descending through 23,700 feet with 85 statute miles to go.

Whether you’re a road warrior, an occasional traveler, or picking up a passenger at the airport, you’ll more than likely find FlightAware via website and their Mobile Apps helpful.  For the road warrior, chances are you’ll know more about the flight status than the gate agent through the use of FlightAware.

The product was first developed for use in the United States and new features are added on a regular basis.  Now it’s possible to track flights real-time within Australia and the tracking is free.  FlightAware is said to be a world leader in flight status/tracking and is now the first to offer this service in Australia.

To use via the web, simply visit FlightAware.com – free services include:

  • Nationwide Australian live flight tracking and status (private and commercial flights)
  • Real-time maps with zoom/pan, map styles (e.g., satellite earth view), Google Earth integration
  • Worldwide airport delays and airport status
  • Mobile apps (iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, WP7, Symbian)
  • Flight alerts (via email, text message, Facebook, Twitter) including pre-arrival notifications
  • Flight radar track log (time, latitude, longitude, speed, heading) with graphs
  • Gate assignments, times, and delays for airline flights
  • Aircraft photos for over 100,000 aircraft, live aviation news, and aviation email newsletters

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Should you wish to check on the status of a flight it’s quite easy.  You can search by airport, route, and flight number.  In this case we looked at en-route arrivals to Perth and located Qantas Flight 767 from Brisbane (BNE) to Perth (PER).  Once loaded, we were provided with a plethora of valuable information:

Brisbane to Perth on FlightAware | Graphic from FlightAware's Website
Brisbane to Perth Flight Status on FlightAware | Graphic: Real query on FlightAware | Copyright FlightAware

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As you can see above, the flight is at 28,000 feet, has 1 hour and 29 minutes remaining with 721 statute miles to go, and the flight, QF 767 – ironically operated by a Boeing 767 – will be arriving into Terminal 2, gate 12, at Perth International (PER).  Additional information about the flight, previous flights, along with airport information is available.

FlightAware CEO Daniel Baker, said, “FlightAware’s flight tracking technology and services are a tremendous tool for pilots, dispatchers, and airports, as well as airline passengers.”  Baker, continued, “We are excited to be able to expand our reach and offer all of our services to the Australian aviation community.”

Aside from tracking flights, commercial services for FBOs to streamline their airport handling operations (FBO ToolBox) and an API (FlightXML) for software developers to use FlightAware’s live flight data.   The company also provides commercial reports for industry stakeholders, as well as premium accounts for power users.

While the information is “live”, slight delays are built-in for security reasons.  Australia aircraft operators who wish to keep their privacy have the ability to opt-out by contacting FlightAware.  Operators who do opt out will still be able to use a commercial product designed for operators with a need to retain secure, selective access to their flight details.

 

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2 Responses

03.30.12

I so much love this tool, wish I knew of it before, even if just for US travel.

Just how near-time is the information and is it dependable?

The other thing I’ve been trying to figure out is it doesn’t like the three letter IATA codes, but instead requires you to use the four letter IACO code, like YSSY for Sydney, YMML for Melbourne, and so on.

Cheers – SJ

03.30.12

I’ve been using FlightAware for several years and it seems there are new features on a regular basis.

As to being accurate, it normally is within a few minutes unless you pull up a flight and and the information just doesn’t look right – I wouldn’t say it’s 100% accurate, but it often has better information than your gate agent does about late inbound equipment and why it really was delayed.

With FlightAware, I’ve seen strange information associated with flights after diversions. You can put two and two together and figure out it was a diversion, but it works best when it just states diversion and wheels down time at diversion airport.

As far as using it to pick someone up, keep in mind the arrival time is wheels down. It can take some time between landing and going to the gate, depending on airport.

On a final note as to the airport codes, there are duplicate IATA codes. It appears the industry is headed towards using the four letter IACO code as well as the three letter airline identifer in a number of cases.

When you go to an airport’s page, you’re also provided with the Terminal Area Forecast, or TAF. It may look complicated, but it is easy to read:

KSDF 302256Z 22017G21KT 10SM FEW060 SCT080 BKN250 26/13 A2972 RMK AO2 PK WND 22026/2225

In this case KSDF (Louisville) is the airport; next field is day and time 30th 22:56Z (Zulu)

22017G21KT means winds from 220 (direction – as 180 degrees is due south and 270 is due west, this means winds are coming in from the southwest). Next the wind is at 17 knots and G = Gust, so 17 knots, gusts to 21 knots.

10SM = 10 statute mile visibility
FEW060 = Few clouds at 6000 feet
SCT080 = Scatter Clouds at 8000 feet
BKN250 = Broken Clouds at 25,000 feet
26/13 = Temperature and Dew Point (in Celcius)
A2972 = Pressure at 2972
RMK = Remark
A02 = Type of Automated Station
PK WND 22026/2225 = Peak Wind 26 knots from 220 at 22:25 Zulu.

Hope you find this useful! -Steve

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