I have already taken this up with Flightwaware.com to no avail. All flights handled by the local radar approach/departure control are not showing up on the flight tracking page. However, once handed off to another facility, such as center or another approach facility, these flight suddenly “pop up” on the screen. I am wondering where flightaware gets their data and if this shows a communication problem between my local app facility and the center. I’ll try to post some pics of what I’m talking about.
That’s correct. Local flights are often handled exclusively by the local ATC computer system and never make it up to the national level where we get our data from the FAA. When they’re handed off to center we’ll start receiving information about them.
So that is the case handled by any approach controller, not just my nearby one?
Usually, yes. There may be exceptions if your local airport happens to be a major one.
Here the largest airport is Class D airpspace, the radar approach/dep service is provided by a nearby military base, even for all civilan IFR, airlines, etc. So all IFR flights below 10 thousand feet usually dont show up until adjacent approach facilities take the hand off.
But when I observe other areas, aircraft handled by the approach control below 10 thousand show up.
For EWR, the only airport I monitor regularly, tracking continues through approach, but usually terminates around the tower handoff point.
I am finding this problem in my experiences recently with Birmingham Approach in Alabama.
I was dropped by FA when I was handed off from Atlanta center to Birmingham approach. flightaware.com/live/flight/N194 … Y/tracklog
I wasn’t picked up by FA until I was handed off to Atlanta Center. See flightaware.com/live/flight/N194 … O/tracklog
This problem clearly started in October, as I was tracked by Birmingham for my initial descent. See flightaware.com/live/flight/N194 … Y/tracklog
Something changed somewhere in that month for Birmingham. No problems at KJAN, which is a smaller Class C airport on my climbs or descents when I go from center to KJAN approach.
Yes the same situation I described began around October or November. I used to track my own flights, IFR and VFR with flight following. But now most if not all flights even IFR below ten thousand feet will not show up, unless maybe the flight goes through a rural area and you might use center for ATC.