Flightradar24 shows live air traffic from around the world. The primary technology used to receive flight information is called automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B).
– 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
The ADS-B technology itself is best explained by the image below:
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.
Flightradar24 has a network of about 500 ADS-B receivers around the world that receives plane and flight information from aircraft with ADS-B transponders and sends this information to a server, and then displays this information on a map on Flightradar24. Only aircraft with an ADS-B transponder, within the coverage area of the 500 receivers are visible.
In addition to ADS-B data, we also display data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This data provides full coverage of the airspace above the United States and Canada. However, this data is slightly delayed (up to 5 minutes) due to FAA regulations. Because of this delay, the planes generated from FAA data are of a different color (orange) than the planes generated from real-time data (yellow).
Flightradar24 covers about 90% of Europe. There is also some coverage in USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Middle East, Japan and other parts around the world.