FlightAware Discussions

Routes for multiple flights

Hey folks. I am building a simple map showing in- and out-bound flights from our airport.

The AirportBoards endpoint gives me the flights and helpfully includes a text string representing the route when include_ex_data == true. Unfortunately, I still need to decode that route string (example: “CLVIN2 CLVIN ROD CVG CLEGG5”) into something with coordinates for Google Maps to plot.

My best understanding is that I’d have to iterate over every flight returned by AirportBoards and query DecodeFlightRoute for each flight. Rather than making so many API calls, I would love for the decoded route already to be included in the extended data returned by AirportBoards, or to find a better way to accomplish this.

  1. Is there an obvious strategy with FlightXML 3 that I’m missing?

  2. If not, can I request that decoded flight data be included in the data returned by AirportBoards? If so, what sort of development timeline would we be looking at?

Thanks for your time.

The typical process is to cache the response of DecodeFlightRoute in your backend so that you don’t need to re-request that same route again. That way you are still calling AirportBoards as frequently as you want to see new flights, but only decode their routes when you see a new aircraft with a new route. Of course you can have a reasonable expiration of old routes so that your cache doesn’t grow without bounds, and you can optionally avoid decode of routes that are blank (direct to destination) if you can already plot the location of the destination airport.

One thing about routes that is constant until the data is amended is the SID and STAR parts of the route. “CLVIN2 CLVIN ROD CVG CLEGG5” in your example suggests a SID called CLVIN2 was used along with a STAR CLEGG5 . Now if you had a database that you stored these SID’s and STAR’s in you would have a good list of co-ordinates to work from. I say this as quite often where there is restricted airspace or multiple runways at an airport the number of ‘legs’ in a SID or STAR can be considerable maybe as many as 20. So if you want to plot on a map the route of an aircraft you need these SID and STAR lists to generate a more accurate plot on a map

Thank you, both, for the feedback!