Determining the whereabouts of an aircraft or its registration status used to involve a lengthy freedom of information process with the Federal Aviation Administration. No longer. FlightAware is a web site that offers free air tracking services. After registering with the web site, the general public can access both flight tracking and planning tools, including:
- Flight tracking by aircraft by tail number, airplane identifier or airline name and number.
- Air activity for an airport, airline or aircraft type.
- Information about airport layouts, procedures and services (fuel, mechanics, etc.).
- Access to aircraft registrations and photos.
FlightAware also offers expanded services for a fee that could be useful as public records, including:
- Downloadable flight history for an airport or aircraft.
- Monitoring of a specific aircraft.