FlightAware Discussions

Why is FlightAware not in real-time or actually live?

Hello everyone,

I am wondering why is FlightAware not in real-time or actually live?

Specifically, I noticed on FlightAware’s map, an aircraft position may be lagging behind real-time by at least a few minutes in some cases. I know that a couple years ago, FlightAware got rid of the 5-minute delay on the map and it’s delayed by most 30 seconds, but it seems this is still not the case.

Compared to FlightRadar24, their position looks like it’s more in real-time and live than FlightAware.

They do movement prediction, which can be inaccurate.
You can turn that off though and you still get data that is much less delayed than with FA.

(If you listen to liveatc and want to see the aircraft positions on approach/departure, FA is suboptimal, i mostly use planefinder for that as the FR24 page consumes so much CPU)
Edit: missing track, can’t select aircraft for more detail without opening a new page, it’s just not made for this sort of “watching planes”.

I see, thank you for your response.

Will FlightAware always be lagging behind real-time? Will FlightAware be upgrading to allow real-time flight soon, or is there some kind of technical issue that would prevent it from doing that?

This is the only answer i could find:

As to future plans, i’m only a user and have no clue :slight_smile:

In my case I see only a few seconds delay… maybe 10?

But yes, the FR24 is just one or two seconds.

i had read somewhere that the FR24 software “predicts” location in an attempt to counteract the processing delays…so in certain cases the FR24 could be wrong

i was running some investigation at the beginning of my feeder life and compared the dump1090 local map with the different maps of providers i am feeding to.

The local map was always realtime while all pages (also Flightradar) are showing the aircraft more or less “behind” it’s real position. But in all cases and on all pages it was less than 30 seconds

Just now, best estimate is between 45 seconds to a minute difference between dump1090 and FA.

I just did some experimentation with FlightAware, FlightRadar24, and Plane Finder, and I concluded that if you use the live map on FlightAware without looking up an airport, it will be a bit more real-time comparable with the other 2 flight trackers, but still may lag by say 30 seconds to a minute at most I think.

If you look up an airport on FlightAware, all departing and arriving flights would be positioned way further behind for some reason. In addition, if you refresh the map, as the map is loading up, you can see a more accurate location of a particular airport’s arriving or departing flight, before that flight is positioned further behind once the map loads up.