FlightAware Discussions

Idents for Royal Flying Doctor Service aircraft inconsistencies

We’ve been using the SearchBirdsEyeInFlight endpoint to retrieve the information of aircraft that are owned/operated by the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). Recently we’ve noticed that most of the idents usually prefixed by “FD” have all been changed to “AIQ” which is under Thai AirAsia. Similarly this has been happening for “AM” -> “AMX”. I’m not sure if this is an intentional change, but it has caused a lot of issues as we can only query the idents for RFDS and not an ICAO. Would you be able to correct these changes?

Can you provide some example flights (faFlightID or ident+timestamp) that have been misclassified so that we can investigate?

Here are a few examples that we’ve had to change the idents for

            {
                "altitude" : 214,
                "altitudeChange" : "C",
                "altitudeStatus" : "",
                "arrivalTime" : 0,
                "departureTime" : 1580768297,
                "destination" : "YLIS",
                "faFlightID" : "AMX282-1580765089-fds-0090",
                "firstPositionTime" : 1580768297,
                "groundspeed" : 222,
                "heading" : 360,
                "highLatitude" : -33.16496,
                "highLongitude" : 151.46501,
                "ident" : "AMX282",
                "latitude" : -33.16496,
                "longitude" : 151.46501,
                "lowLatitude" : -33.98502,
                "lowLongitude" : 151.19514,
                "origin" : "YSSY",
                "prefix" : "",
                "suffix" : "",
                "timeout" : "0",
                "timestamp" : 1580769279,
                "type" : "BE20",
                "updateType" : "A",
                "waypoints" : "-32.755 151.53 -32.127 151.77 -31.821 151.88 -30.492 152.36 -29.41 152.82 -28.875 153.05 -28.823 153.26 -28.827 153.26"
             },
             {
                "altitude" : 11,
                "altitudeChange" : "-",
                "altitudeStatus" : "",
                "arrivalTime" : 0,
                "departureTime" : 1580764268,
                "destination" : "YPJT",
                "faFlightID" : "AIQ607-1580750167-fds-0009",
                "firstPositionTime" : 1580764209,
                "groundspeed" : 141,
                "heading" : 245,
                "highLatitude" : -30.78085,
                "highLongitude" : 121.49676,
                "ident" : "AIQ607",
                "latitude" : -32.12849,
                "longitude" : 115.8598,
                "lowLatitude" : -32.12849,
                "lowLongitude" : 115.8598,
                "origin" : "YPKG",
                "prefix" : "",
                "suffix" : "",
                "timeout" : "0",
                "timestamp" : 1580769279,
                "type" : "PC12",
                "updateType" : "A",
                "waypoints" : "-32.097 115.88"
             },
             {
                "altitude" : 135,
                "altitudeChange" : "D",
                "altitudeStatus" : "",
                "arrivalTime" : 0,
                "departureTime" : 1580767740,
                "destination" : "YMOU",
                "faFlightID" : "AIQ467-1580763219-fds-0038",
                "firstPositionTime" : 1580767861,
                "groundspeed" : 276,
                "heading" : 285,
                "highLatitude" : -24.5296,
                "highLongitude" : 152.30901,
                "ident" : "AIQ467",
                "latitude" : -24.5296,
                "longitude" : 150.71751,
                "lowLatitude" : -24.89177,
                "lowLongitude" : 150.71751,
                "origin" : "YBUD",
                "prefix" : "",
                "suffix" : "",
                "timeout" : "0",
                "timestamp" : 1580769278,
                "type" : "BE20",
                "updateType" : "A",
                "waypoints" : "-24.494 150.57 -24.612 150"
             },
             {
                "altitude" : 230,
                "altitudeChange" : "D",
                "altitudeStatus" : "",
                "arrivalTime" : 0,
                "departureTime" : 1580767376,
                "destination" : "YBMK",
                "faFlightID" : "AIQ423-1580761709-fds-0035",
                "firstPositionTime" : 1580767376,
                "groundspeed" : 292,
                "heading" : 141,
                "highLatitude" : -19.21611,
                "highLongitude" : 148.38901,
                "ident" : "AIQ423",
                "latitude" : -20.21935,
                "longitude" : 148.38901,
                "lowLatitude" : -20.21935,
                "lowLongitude" : 146.77965,
                "origin" : "YBTL",
                "prefix" : "",
                "suffix" : "",
                "timeout" : "0",
                "timestamp" : 1580769278,
                "type" : "B350",
                "updateType" : "A",
                "waypoints" : "-20.021 148.22 -21.172 149.18"
             },
             {
                "altitude" : 270,
                "altitudeChange" : "-",
                "altitudeStatus" : "",
                "arrivalTime" : 0,
                "departureTime" : 1580765880,
                "destination" : "YBBN",
                "faFlightID" : "AIQ447-1580765740-fds-0059",
                "firstPositionTime" : 1580765916,
                "groundspeed" : 264,
                "heading" : 122,
                "highLatitude" : -23.5685,
                "highLongitude" : 151.59622,
                "ident" : "AIQ447",
                "latitude" : -25.55214,
                "longitude" : 151.59622,
                "lowLatitude" : -25.55214,
                "lowLongitude" : 148.2,
                "origin" : "YEML",
                "prefix" : "",
                "suffix" : "",
                "timeout" : "0",
                "timestamp" : 1580769274,
                "type" : "BE20",
                "updateType" : "A",
                "waypoints" : "-25.595 151.67 -26.745 152.76 -26.927 152.87 -26.89 152.85 -27.073 152.96 -27.366 153.14 -27.384 153.12"
             }

EDIT:
For example, “AIQ467”, if you go here you can see that it is clearly stated that RFDS(Queensland) is the operator.

Similarly

VH-NAJ Here is operated by ROYAL FLYING DOCTOR SERVICE OF AUSTRALIA (SOUTH EASTERN SECTION) but the Airline is identified as “Aeromexico”

This discrepancy has existed in Victoria (AU) for many years.

S

Here’s the exact same problem discussed over on Plane Finder in March last year.

It seems to be a problem of having Vanity Callsigns and Idents for non scheduled flights.

S

Australia, like other regions, uses locally-assigned ident prefixes that are only valid in their respective geographic areas. In general, we expect idents to use standard ICAO formatting and we automatically attempt to normalize them to that format. This is complicated by the fact that they are not always correctly entered in transponders either nor always reported correctly in any of the dozens of other data feeds we receive and must correlate. We are looking into ways to handle special cases like FD/AM in Australia.

We identified a fix that we believe will address this specific issue in Australia without causing negative side effects. I expect it will be deployed in the next few days pending our internal review process.

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Thanks for the quick response and action.
Just so we know what to expect when the changes go through, will the idents linked to RFDS aircraft continue to be normalised to an ICAO prefix (e.g. AIQ/AMX), or will they go back to being FD/AM?

They will show as FD/AM.

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