I sometimes pull up flights I’ve made in my Mooney on FlightAware. I’ve noticed that when I’m flying to or from my home airport 1O2, Lampson Field, in Lakeport, CA, my origin or destination is typically reported as “near Ukiah, CA”. The other end of the flight is typically correctly tagged with the right airport.
For instance, my flight this morning between 1O2 and KPAO can be seen at https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N335BB/history/20190311/1706Z. The track log picked me up at around 1000ft AGL less than 1 mile from 1O2, yet the point of departure is listed as “near Ukiah, CA”, which is a city around 15 miles away.
How does FlightAware determine whether an airport or “near City” should be listed for a given point of arrival or departure?