FlightAware Discussions

When are push notifications for filed flight plants sent?

I created an alert using the SetAlert method and I reviewed it with the GetAlerts method so I know it’s been registered correctly (ie., “e_filed”: true). It is for a private plane and I used the Tail# as the “ident.”

For testing, I went into ForeFlight and filed a flight plan for that aircraft for tomorrow, about 22-hours from now. It was acknowledged by the FAA and now displays as an upcoming flights on the FlightAware website as an Upcoming Flight but I have not received the Push Notification to my Registered Endpoint.

When are these alerts distributed? What should I expect moving forward about any delay between when a flight has been filed and when the push-alert is sent?

I am not FlightAware staff, but from my experience, push alerts on filed plans tend to show up closer to departure time, and not immediately when filed, especially that far out, as plans frequently change. Would be interested to know what the actual policy is on their end, but, that’s what I’ve observed I’d guess the push alert will show up as the departure time approaches.

The timing is largely dependent upon when we receive notifications of the flightplan being entered into the NAS from the FAA (for flights occurring in the US airspace). For IFR flights, it’s generally about 2 to 6 hours before the flight’s departure for the first notifications.

I would recommend that you verify that your FlightXML push target is working by using the FlightXML notification test page if you haven’t already. Properly registering and configuring the reception side is usually the first problem most new users encounter.

Thanks for the response. A few comments -

1/ It would be helpful to know the exact method you use to determine when an alert is pushed for each eventcode. It would be easy to add to this page (for v2): https://flightaware.com/commercial/flightxml/documentation2.rvt. And of course, there would be a different answer for each eventcode (filed, departed, cancelled, etc.)

2/ I did test (and do test) using the FlightXML Test Page. One issue I’ve encountered is that push notifications generated by that page do not include an alert_id, so if I have any logic in my code that uses that value, and I do, I can’t really use that page to test; I have to run an end-to-end test using an actual alert that contains an alert_id.

3/ This is related to #2, there is no easy place in the U/I that I’ve found that displays the current;y Registered Endpoint URL. You have to post to the RegisterAlertEndpoint again to confirm the URL is actually the one you want. It would super-helpful to have that listed as a tab on the My Account page (https://flightaware.com/account/manage) or somewhere else. (There is no easy way to navigate to the API Keys page either, for that matter.)

The notification test page that I linked above already displays what you currently have registered. Look for the text “Your currently configured endpoint”

Thanks … not sure how I missed that but see it now.

Can you be more specific on when the Push Notification is sent when a flight is Cancelled? I cancelled an IFR flight through ForeFlight during testing (about 1-hour before scheduled departure) and the event did not fire. The flight is no longer displayed as Pending on FlightAware so I’m wondering when/if the event will ever fire for that cancelled flight.


Cancellation alerts are generally only sent for scheduled airline flights where we receive a confirmed schedule notification. General Aviation flightplans that are deleted do not trigger cancelation alerts, by design.

OK … got it … you know my next question: what about the “departure” and “arrival”? Are they only for scheduled airline flights or for any flight?

For GA flights, departure and arrival should behave as you are probably expecting.

Departure will typically be when the first airborne position is detected or an ATC departure notification is received. Arrival will typically be the last position is detected within range of the destination airport or an ATC arrival is received. (For airline flights, actual wheels up/down ACARS notifications or similar may also be processed to trigger departure/arrival.)

I’m using the Push Notification Testing Interface to generate a Departure notification and get an incomplete response. Is there a way to get a response with all fields (and no error message)? I’m running into issues and it’d be helpful to see all fields populated in a real message.

Here is what I’m getting now through the interface (my emphasis added):

{‘long_desc’: ‘Test Departure Long Message’, ‘short_desc’: ‘Test Departure Short Message’, ‘summary’: ‘Test Departure Summary’, ‘eventcode’: ‘departure’, ‘flight’: {‘faFlightID’: ‘test_flight_id’, ‘error’: 'Extended details unavailable: build_json_flight_body_v1 could not load details’}}

You need to specify an actual faFlightID in the entry field of the test page for the extended details to be populated.

Thanks. That would have been super-helpful to know … ie., like documented on the Interface page itself :slightly_smiling_face:

I’m really struggling with the documentation. Appreciate the help.

Question: for GA flights, is there always an Arrival event for every Flight? In other words, if FlightAware notices a plane in the air, will there always be an Arrival event for that flight no matter how it originated (IFR or VFR)?

Flights that time-out due to lack of additional events and get assigned an automatic status of “flight result unknown” (aka “estimated arrival”) will generally not receive an arrival alert. These are flights that we denote with (actualarrivaltime == actualdeparturetime).