Are blocked tail numbers publicly visible on FlightAware? (Back to top)
No, blocked aircraft flight tracking details are only available to the aircraft owner/operator.
Can I send proof of ownership to FlightAware for access to track a blocked tail number? (Back to top)
Yes, FlightAware offers flight tracking for blocked aircraft as a service to owner/operators.
Can I block my aircraft's flight operations on FlightAware? (Back to top)
Yes, there are three ways to accomplish this:
Enroll in FlightAware's selective unblocking service for a tail number that is or isn't already blocked.
FlightAware can process your request with next-day service and will block your operations from the general public. Your FlightAware account(s) will continue to be able to securely view and track your aircraft. FlightAware will complete the paperwork necessary for blocking your aircraft on other flight tracking services and will provide you with everything you need to accomplish the block.
FlightAware Worldwide Selective (Un)blocking
In the United States
The FAA operates and maintains an aircraft blocking list. This service is free although it may take 30-45 days to take effect and will not allow your user account to track your aircraft on FlightAware unless you subscribe to FlightAware's selective unblocking service for blocked tail numbers.
Outside the United States
FlightAware operates and maintains an aircraft blocking list. This service is free and will not allow your user account to track your aircraft on FlightAware unless you subscribe to FlightAware's selective unblocking service.
FlightAware is happy to answer any questions and walk you through the process, so please contact us for assistance.
Isn't the accessibility of this information violating the privacy of people traveling on private aircraft? (Back to top)
No, for many reasons:
The aircraft being displayed on FlightAware are operating in public airspace. They are arriving and departing from airports with their identification number painted on the aircraft. They are broadcasting their whereabouts and intentions on public radio frequencies. They are all using services provided by the federal government. Accordingly, this information is completely public in many forms.
Aircraft owners have the option of blocking their identification from being released to the public.
Countless companies offer services and information identical to FlightAware for a subscription fee.
Without Internet flight tracking, an individual could simply listen to the appropriate frequencies to hear their tail number of interest's next destination in the form of, "citation niner alpha mike, santa monica ground, you're cleared to las vegas executive as filed . . ." In the case of an individual trying to determine the tail number of an individual that is known to be departing a certain airport for a particular destination, they already know where the individual is going so there is hardly any knowledge gained in that circumstance. Even easier, aircraft owner information is available on the country's aircraft registry web site for search or download. If an individual doesn't have an aviation radio receiver, ATC (air traffic control) frequencies are broadcasted on countless web sites for enthusiasts and many web sites even archive ATC conversations for web users to download at a later date.
Isn't this information a big security risk? Is FlightAware helping terrorists? (Back to top)
This information is public knowledge and not a security risk. The assertion that knowing aircraft whereabouts, routing, or airport activity promotes terrorism or is a security risk is much like suggesting that train or subway routes and schedules should not be published.