FlightAware Discussions

How common is ADSB on US air carriers?

I’m trying to estimate what percentage of the operations at my local airport (KPDX) would be picked up by an ADSB reciever. Would you expect 50%, 75%, 90%, etc.? And how close to the ground is ADSB tracking reliable?

Thanks in advance,

This is a screen shot of my Planeplotter aircraft list with the Chart centred on Portland. As you can see there are plenty of flights showing positions. And that was 4.15 in the morning your time.
There are sharers providing raw data to enable positions to be calculated using Mulilateration.



Not sure if it’s a problem with my computer or not… but I can’t view the attachment.

I’d guess around 25%, but maybe lower. Unlikely it’s higher.

ADS-B is line of sight, so it works on the ground if you have an unobstructed view.

Thanks for the info. So if I were to locate it AT the airport (e.g. on the parking garage for example) in a location with line-of-sight to a runway/taxiways, we should be able to track from approach down to the runway?

Thanks again,


And perhaps even receive ground positions as it is taxiing to the gate, depending on your location’s visibility.

Ok, so with line of sight, we should be able to track to the ground. My other question is how many/what percentage of US airline aircraft are equipped with ADSB. Any ideas?

I estimated 25% in an earlier post, but it might be lower.

Thanks. I thought the 25% had to do with limitations of not getting line of sight.

Thanks again,

I have amended the URL details for the image - you can open it in a new tab.


I’m about 1.5 miles Northeast of the CYVR tower and at times can pick up planes on the runways, taxiways as well as sometimes even pick out some of the gates they are at if I overlay on Google Maps; sometimes at a gate it’s accurate enough to try a guess where their antenna is (tail or front). Hangers do block the ADS/B view, elevation will be your friend.

As for the number of ADS-B equipped planes, I would guess that for the smaller domestic aircraft it’s quite low, perhaps a maximum of 15%-20%. For the International flights I see overflying, the ratio is much higher probably due to most of them now being newer aircraft purchased after ADS/B was designed. This should improve as we approach 2020 when, I think, ADS/B will be required to fly in controlled airspace and also as newer aircraft replace the older ones and will have ADS/B installed. I would think it is very costly to add ADS/B to an older commercial plane so it will be a slow process. For private planes there probably are some less expensive but acceptable ways to use ADS/B.



Just for interest - since 12 Dec 2013 Australia has mandated the equipage of ADSB for any aircraft operating above FL290.

The result is that 100% of the Jet Airline fleet is equipped as well as about 60% of the medium to heavy Charter Fleet.


Aircraft Mode-S Southern California Log for Year 2013
Aircraft with Mode-S transponder: 20353. Only 4568 sending ADS-B data.

In 2014 (47 days) logged 11866 aircraft and only 3220 aircraft sending ADS-B data.

UPS: 184 logged with 183 with ADS-B
FedEx: 223 logged with 219 with ADS-B

Virgin America: 53 logged with 53 with ADS-B

United Airlines: 627 logged with 261 with ADS-B

American Airlines: 598 logged with 296 with ADS-B

Alaska Airlines: 126 logged with 17 with ADS-B

Delta Air Lines: 472 logged with 106 with ADS-B

US Airways: 201 logged with 70 with ADS-B

JetBlue Airways: 129 logged with 68 with ADS-B

Southwest Airlines/AirTran Airways: 599 logged with 102 with ADS-B

Japan Airlines: 41 logged with 39 with ADS-B


Boeing: 3077 logged with 1588 with ADS-B
Airbus: 1233 logged with 665 with ADS-B

Bombardier: 264 logged with 93 with ADS-B
Canadair: 585 logged with 53 with ADS-B
Beech: 628 logged with 67 with ADS-B
Cessna: 1790 logged with 158 with ADS-B
Cirrus: 99 logged with 42 with ADS-B
Dassault: 379 logged with 53 with ADS-B
Eclipse: 48 logged with 0 with ADS-B
Embraer: 309 logged with 54 with ADS-B
Gulfstream: 717 logged with 199 with ADS-B
learjet: 276 logged with 5 with ADS-B
Pilatus: 138 logged with 4 with ADS-B
Piper: 342 logged with 21 with ADS-B

You can check some files for 2014 in this folder.
[The **Y in the far right spreadsheet column = Aircraft equipped and sending ADS-B data]
Dropbox folder dropbox.com/sh/e2n3j7zl7s8a … h_ML8Nf0Ia

Another site to check out.

Honeywell Mode-S / ADS-B Growth data.
dissrr.com/ADSB/DI/Airframes … php?ADSB=1

I think another question is how many flights are using the correct identifier? I’m seeing JBU, SWA and TRS that are only broadcasting the numeric portion of the segments and not the full flight ID. This seems to be creating a situation where the ADS-B spotter information isn’t making it to FlightAware. Case in point, I tracked flight TRS427 to 300 feet at KSNA, but since the full ID wasn’t being broadcast the FA Track Log only shows the reports from TRACON. (Side note, I also noticed for flights like these the registration number isn’t being reported, this flight was N287AT but that info isn’t around.) Is there an issue resolving reg’n to filed flight plans?

Pilots might accidentally enter only the flight number and not the full identifier because the ATC in the US is probably not making regular use of all ADS-B data yet, and not informing the pilots of the error. These types of mistakes will probably be reduced as ADS-B usage becomes more widespread. In parts of Europe ADS-B is mandatory and some airport towers there require correct ADS-B idents, which reduces such mistakes.

If the ADS-B data properly includes the ident or reg is a flight that we already recognize as being the same, then we’ll incorporate the data together.