Delayed Flights / Cancelled Plans


In general, I endorse the “delayed” notation on the airport pages for flights scheduled to arrive but overdue and not yet enroute.

However, “delayed” is often inaccurate. Looking at the flight tracking page shows that the flight isn’t going to happen. Either it’s a cancellation that hasn’t been removed by the FAA or there’s a different apparent explanation.

Currently, KADS shows 3 of 9 pending arrivals as “delayed”. For only one is “delayed” even a feasible explanation.

N213HP flew on 2/26 from KLAS to KFTW. The map track shows arrival, but the arrival time is “result unknown”. The aircraft was supposed to continue last evening from KFTW to KADS, but the flight is still “scheduled”. Perhaps that is a true delay for the KADS activity page.

N300TS is shown as “delayed” from KDAL to KADS. The flight was scheduled 2/26 1800 hrs to 1806 hrs. It’s still shown on the aircraft page as scheduled. However, that same aircraft departed KADS for KABQ on 2/27 at 706 hrs. Clearly, it is not still “delayed” from KDAL yesterday. A 2/26 flight KASE/KDAL has arrival “result unknown”. The likely explanation would be an unreported “divert” destination from KDAL to KADS. In any event, the “delay” arrival of N300TS at KDAL was an actual arrival and the current enroute “delay” status is not factual.

The N440WA flight KLIT/KADS scheduled for 2/26 1700 hrs departure was superceded by a KLIT/KDAL flight that left at 2/26 1830 hrs. That it arrived at KDAL at 2027 hrs (-1) is something to ponder. However, that same plane returned KDAL to KLIT, leaving 2/26 2352 hrs. The map track shows an arrival at KLIT, but the arrival time is “result unknown”.

All this is to suggest that a “delayed” status is not reliable. The real problem is probably that the FAA is not deleting flight plans in a timely manner. However, FA could periodically filter its “delayed” flights to look for confirmed later (than the original “delayed” schedule) departures from either origin airport or the destination airport and delete those delays or mark them with a different status, e.g., “suspended” (prior to FAA cancellation).

Some flights are truly delayed, either by weather or by mechanical or because a prior flight segment is running late. I’d like to differentiate true delays from those resulting from de facto cancellations.

I expect that the same situations can be found with scheduled departures.

Could the FA staff create some filter so that we won’t have to dig into the aircraft tracking to reconstruct what’s happening? Is it a feasible solution?