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FlightAware to use ADS-B to track flightsFlightAware to use ADS-B to track flights

FlightAware will soon be able to track airplanes on the ground and in flight all over the planet through a space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) system.

The company, founded in 2005 as a free, web-based flight tracker, now has a network of 12,000 ground stations and a growing constellation of satellites with ADS-B receivers.

Next summer, when the satellite constellation of 70 satellites is complete, it will be able to track ADS-B-equipped airplanes anywhere in the world.

"It's the biggest innovation since we first started coming to NBAA in 2006," said Daniel Baker, FlightAware founder and CEO. "We'll be able to track every airplane everywhere in the world. This is truly revolutionary."

The company will have an alerting feature that kicks in when an airplane stops transmitting, and it will get one report per minute from every airplane in flight.

With global coverage, FlightAware expects to be able to help corporate customers better track their flights and react to weather changes and mechanical problems. The company can give airports detailed information about flights coming and going, and those that overfly them.

"We can give them a full picture of their operations," Baker said.

FlightAware makes money from advertising, customized reports, and selling data feeds. FlightAware also builds and distributes low-cost ADS-B receivers that track flights independent of the FAA ADS-B network.

Dave Hirschman

Dave Hirschman

AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Dave Hirschman joined AOPA in 2008. He has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates. Dave flies vintage, historical, and Experimental airplanes and specializes in tailwheel and aerobatic instruction.
Topics: Technology, ADSB, National Business Aviation Association

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