Arrival time in Toronto airport

I have seen flights come into the small airport in Toronto Ontario after 11 p.m. In tracking flights with flightaware it states arrival will be after 11 p.m. After landing at 11:02 or 11:04 the time of arrival is posted as 10:59. This is almost each and everytime even though I saw the plane(s) in question arrive at 11:04 or 11:03. Yesterday a plane landed at 11:26 (I witnessed this) yet it is reported as having landed at 11:13 or thereabouts. Clearly, the plane was still in flight, even according to its own track log.

My question: how is the final time calculated if in fact at 10:59 the plane is still in the air. Is there a five minute margin of error, say? How does Flightaware get this information?

Perhaps this question has been asked or it is in the FAQs (and I can’t find it) but I am very new to this website and I am curious and wish I understood it all better, so please forgive me.

Welcome to FlightAware!

You said a small airport in Toronto? I’m guessing it isn’t YYZ. If it’s an uncontrolled field, the approach controllers might be cancelling the flight plan when they hand the flight off to the airport’s advisory frequency, or when the pilot says ‘field in sight.’
Which airport is this, and do you know an ident code for it? FA seems to have only one airport for Toronto in the database (CYYZ).

Are you talking about the time they landed (i.e. wheels down) or are you talking about the time the shut off the engine on the tarmac (i.e. block time)?

Flightaware records the wheels down and wheels up time, not gate times.

Does help any?

Sounds like you are experiencing that lag time. Plane will always arrive sooner at the airport then what Flight Aware depicts if you are doing a side by side comparison with what you see with your eyes at the airport vs what you see on the screen of Flight aware.

I.E. you see the plane landed 11:05, Flight Aware will display the flight status as of 10:59 is the way my mind computes it.

The arrival time is reported by ATC. The delay means it won’t show up on the website until 5-6 minutes after it happens, but the time of the arrival is not affected.

If it’s Buttonville (CYKZ) then the tower closes at 11pm, but the airport is open 24/7. Don’t know how (or who) gets an accurate arrival time after 11 in that case.

I don’t know what Canadian regs are but for FAA purposes, depending on the airport facilities, it’s possible to cancel an IFR flight via remote radio transmitter to FSS or Center. Otherwise a phone call to Flight Services is in order.

KJAN is a part time airport near me where tower shuts down at 11:00 p.m.and if I was to cancel IFR on arrival there, I have to do it in the air or call FSS who would turn around and report to ATC that I indeed arrived.

So, there could be a delay in marking the arrival should it be a phone call to FSS. Conversely the arrival could be marked early should I cancel IFR in the air through center. Flight Aware would show arrived, yet I could be still 20 miles from the airport. Track line would show a gap from where I cancelled to the airport.

The act of canceling the IFR is the point that triggers the arrival message from ATC.

That’d by my guess, although cancelling IFR before an assured landing is a bit iffy IMO.

“Please cancel IFR”. Crash. Burn.