Airport flight tracker – any standard model?


#1

Hi – thanks for reading!

Using an alternative data service I’ve built an application that retrieves, processes and displays updated flight information for all of today’s flights to and from a given airport. While we’ve achieved the desired functionality, the current data provider and their ancient API are causing a lot of headaches. We’re looking at potentially switching to FlightAware.

I’ve read through some of the documentation and code examples but as another preliminary step, I thought I would reach out here to see if there is any standard way to get the kind of information we need from FlightAware without making superfluous API calls.

If anyone has any thoughts on this I’d love to hear them.

Also interested in whether the newer V3 API would be better equipped to handle this kind of task?

Thanks so much!


#2

FXML3’s AirportBoard is what you’re looking for. It’s not perfect yet, but, it’s pretty good. I’m using it for a couple of projects.


#3

Thanks so much! If you have time, I’d appreciate a little more insight since you’ve actually used it – what kind of problems have you experienced using FXML3?

Looking around the message board there seem to be issues of the type that I wouldn’t want in our production system (duplicate flights, inaccuracies) – is there a more complex but more reliable way to do it with the older API?


#4

FXML3 AirportBoard issues/concerns/gotchas after having used it extensively for ~1.5 years:

FXML3’s API calls were so much less expensive for my use-case that I didn’t pursue the FXML2 solution very far; I believe the “AirportBoard” API call in version 3 is a direct response to how difficult/expensive it was to do built a flight board with v2 of the API… you can get 60 flights worth of info from a single billable FXML3 AirportBoard query, which would require ~65 billable queries from FXML2.

It doesn’t take long to look at those threads and get a feel for what to expect support-wise insofar as timing or actual resolutions go… it is what it is. I’ve had several interactions with support via phone/email not here on the forums - resolution has always been satisfactory (I’ve had a few issues with push alerts in FXML2 that required discussion with support/billing, and they’ve been very good there, if slow).

That said, the data, once you clean it up a bit, is pretty darn solid, at least in the US… have a customer in Spain, outside of FlightAware’s main service area, which has a few lingering items, but, it’s still a pretty good product, I think.