FlightAware Discussions

Why do flight plans sometimes not appear?

Why do flight plans (routes/waypoints) sometimes appear, sometimes not? Do some operators let you down? Some airports? Is it completely sporadic, or are there “rules” I can learn?

Thanks in advance!

They are generally only available when provided to us by an air traffic control entity. We do not have ATC flight plan coverage in all countries. We also track aircraft that are not on a filed flight plan. https://flightaware.com/about/faq#intl

Thanks Eric! Your reply - and the provided FAQ link - were very helpful, and deeply appreciated.

So how, then, would I go about finding the filed flight plans for various accident flights, if they do not appear on your site? All recommendations/referrals warmly welcomed.

Many thanks in advance for your continued and kind assistance.

We can’t provide data that we don’t have. You probably need to contact the air navigation service provider for the region in question.

Of course - it was just the referral I sought. Deeply appreciated, Eric - will pursue with air nav SP’s.

Re: “region”: exposing my ignorance, but: do you mean takeoff, landing, impact, or airline HQ?

E.g. 4U9525 took off in Spain, crashed in France, was to land in Germany, and was operated by Germanwings (but could’ve been operated by a carrier domiciled in a 4th nation): which one do I ask for its flight plan?

Again: thanks much for your help and patience.

For your example, I would suggest contacting Eurocontrol. However, flight plan data is considered privileged by Eurocontrol with access generally only allowed to the owner/operator or others with operational needs or access to the aircraft.

FlightAware can provide Eurocontrol data but only to authorized entities, subject to contractual obligations we have with Eurocontrol. If you have verifiable privilege to the data then you can contact our sales team.

Thanks, Eric.

I believe my “privilege to the data” derives from the general public’s right to verify for themselves statements made by governments (e.g. “Flight X was on track”) when a major air disaster occurs - just in case they’re ever, for whatever reason, not entirely straight with us.

I don’t have any more right to see 4U9525’s filed flight plan than any other person on the planet - yet as long as I promise never to earn a penny from this data (a pledge I hereby formally make), I don’t see anything wrong with releasing data that could help substitute facts for appearances, and demonstrations for impressions. Such disclosure surely helps build trust among the flying public that the airways are safe, and in good hands.

FlightAware already recognizes this moral duty to disclose, I feel, by making an extra effort to voluntarily disclose pertinent info on all major air disasters. For this, I commend you - and ask only that you please simply extend this practice to include the filed flight plan, if you have it, and if your source agrees to its release.

Many thanks, and kindest regards.