FlightAware Discussions

Any interesting trends from Covid-19

last almost 30 days without a significant change. Looks like we keep this at least to the end of the year

downtrend keeps on

Not Covid related, but I am taking a bath in my area this week - down 20-30% from last week. Had a huge wind storm on Monday, which kept the GA aircraft down, and sparked a bunch of wildfires to the east so that we have been blanketed in smoke for days.

Today will be my 4th day in a row of <700, following weeks of 800-950 days.

Same wildfire smoke impact around Seattle (sounds like you are near here too!) over the past week. It’s even worse than my graph because I finally dialed in the best Airspy settings (more gain!) so my numbers are actually above what they would have been, even though the wildfire smoke brings the trend down for all my neighbor stations. Commercial aircraft seem to be starting the seasonal drop and GA aircraft don’t bother with smoke.

The next 72 hours of smoke are forecast to be about as bad as it can get in this area. We’ll see what happens.

Smoke forecast Saturday morning Sep 12

Trending down this week with a few smoky days:

We’re south, near Vancouver. Air quality here has been terrible since the wind storm on Monday. We were getting 55-60mph gusts through the Gorge. This morning is particularly terrible with the smoke, so we are loading up our camper and heading to Ocean Shores for a couple of days.

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Since the smoke is blowing in off the ocean… I’m not sure Ocean Shores will be better! Try the highest mountains instead.

Holy smoke, today I had the lowest total aircraft count since July and lowest # of UAT aircraft since I got my 978 antenna properly mounted.

And the smoke has gradually gotten worse all day long and forecast to get worse into Sunday…

Way better out here than in the Portland area.

Today was an interesting day here over Europe/Germany.

My receiver hit 116 aircraft the same time. This was the first time this year after the traffic went down in February.
Initially i thought about lots of MLAT driven leisure aircraft, but it was mainly general traffic:

Anyone seeing an uptick in airport activity?
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Denver with 3 arrival and 3 separate departure runways operating at the same time.

My station and neighbors got the lowest daily traffic since June COVID dip with intense ground level smoke and flight visibility reported at 0 miles at 13,000 ft and 3/4 mile at 10,000 feet. I got a total of 3 UAT aircrat, one of which was last night at 5:45 pm.

The intensity and impact on the entire west coast of the US is pretty significant, and further messes with my COVID traffic trend tracking…

Crazy traffic drop, 99% commercial only planes

Smoke on west coast

Seattle today

I’ve only noticed 2 of 3 runways in use at SEA recently. But not something I’ve checked too closely. Today was probably unique, but looks like mostly one runway was used, with just a little traffic on the other. Unfortunately I can’t track below about 850 ft there.

A comparison of 9 days ago before the smoke started and today’s 24-hr total, which is 42% of the 9/4 total, and only one UAT aircraft… The smoke should finally start to dissipate by tomorrow morning. Still terrible tonight, but a little faint sun could be seen.

smoke comparison



That smoke is just horrific. Stay safe @davidinjp.

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I went from 944 to 499 in that same span. yesterday and today have been my first days under 500 in months.

My friends have shared that the air quality in the Portland area is as bad as yours. My wife and I bugged out for the coast and are hanging out near Aberdeen until tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully a little rain is on the way to knock the smoke down and bring the aircraft back!

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One of the days with the lowest traffic here since weeks. But it’s not only me, also other stations around dropped traffic, especially ADS-B.

Less than 1500 is almost a month ago

Eurocontrol expects a stagnation of traffic until February 2021

Welp, after about 10 days of smoke and low visibility, a weather system came through Saturday to clear the air.

GA aircraft were nearly zero over this period and commercial airlines cut some flights to minimize employee exposure. Today things started to rebound, especially with GA dominating the map. The UAT numbers are the best measure of pure GA traffic.

Now, back to normal post-summer-peak trend tracking…


Yep! I saw >800 for the first time since Sept 7 today.

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