'waypoints' on the flightaware.com/live/flight/... display


Hi All,
My question is about the ‘waypoints’ we can switch on in the flightaware.com/live/flight/… display (overlays in upper right corner of the map ). Those ‘waypoints’ show up as a numerous black dots on the dashed blue route indicated for the flight. In addition, we can also look up the Route … (Decode) for the same flight, showing waypoints, NAVAIDs, Reporting Points, etc.
QUESTION: The number of ‘waypoints’ shown in the /live/flight/… display map is always much larger than the total number of points in the Route…(Decode).
Why is this?
What exactly are those ‘waypoints’ that show up as black dots on the dashed blue route indicated for the flight ib the map?

Thanks, Rohan

Meaningless (?) blue dashed line and black dot 'waypoints' o

Waypoints are each route element. An element of the route may be a departure procedure, airways, or arrival route that contain multiple waypoints.


So for example, how can a route have fourty (40!) ‘waypoints’ - black dots on the blue dashed line on the map - when it has only five (5) points on the ‘route decoded’ (KMYF, JLI, WARNE, TRM, KABQ in the example). See example link:

Where do all those 'waypoints' come from?  Do pilots file them on the flight plan? Or how else would FlightAware know about them?   
I asked some local IFR pilots, and they say they never file all those many 'waypoints'. So where do those come from?

Thanks, Rohan


Google is your friend. Start there.
Then look at skyvector.com, look at some of their refrences.
You can copy the list of waypoints from a FlightAware flight, and plug them into the waypoint field in skyvector and see the route. If you look at the charts, there are other waypoints along those routes, but the ones posted generally outline the flight path. Adding starting and ending airport codes on either end will give you the whole flight.

A steep learning curve is good- it means you pick up much learning in a short time.

Good luck with your studies.


Guess: The “black dots” may be intersections with other airways fixes, or fixes along the route the flight plan did not need to fill in.

Look at the Skyvector chart for SoCal (L-4) and look at V64. A pilot could file SLI V64 BLH and skip all the little intersections or VORs along the way.

Those little black dots may match up to those skipped intersections.


Waypoints or fixes define points along an airway among other things. Like exit numbers along a freeway. An example flight plan might be: KABC V1 APPLE V2 BEAVR DCT KXYZ. APPLE is where the flight joins V2 even though V2 may have started at DEF and ends at QRS. There may also be numerous waypoints and VORs between APPLE and BEAVR. Putting them all in the flight plan would be like listing all of the exit numbers along the freeway for the 100 mile trip to Grandmothers house. Totally redundant.