Flight Tracking

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web track imageWelcome to the WebTrak system, a leading innovative technology that allows the public to see the general location of flights and air traffic flow in the Columbus region. This flight monitoring system includes specific information about flights from Port Columbus, Rickenbacker and Bolton Field airports as well as information on other air traffic operating in the Columbus region. This includes the aircraft’s type, track, altitude and flight identification.

Real time and historical flight and aircraft radar data originate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Real time data is viewed in the Live Mode and is delayed by 21 minutes to maintain aviation security. Historical data is viewed in the Replay Mode and is available up to 90 days in the past. Noise data from twelve permanent noise monitoring terminals located in the vicinity of Port Columbus and two in the vicinity of Rickenbacker are updated daily and may only be viewed in the Replay Mode.

To access WebTrak click here. For your convenience, additional instructions have been provided below to help you navigate the site with greater ease.

Computer Requirements

WebTrak is best viewed using a high-speed broadband Internet connection. A dial-up connection may also be used. However, loading the application and data will be much slower resulting in longer waiting periods and it will not be possible to use high levels of acceleration when replaying flights. CRAA’s WebTrak site requires Adobe Flash 9. Flash should automatically update to the correct version. If you have difficulties with Flash then you should refer to the Adobe product page for Flash 9. Your computer should meet the following minimum specifications:

  • Windows 98 or later or Mac OS/X
  • 128MB of RAM (256 MB recommended)
  • 500MHz processor (1 GHz recommended)

Internet Explorer 6+ or Firefox 2+ are recommended for Windows users and Safari on Mac OS/X. Other browsers may work but they have not been tested.

Flight Information

Aircraft icons are not to scale and will change in size at different zoom levels. Flight and aircraft radar data originate from the FAA’s STARS radar system in the Airport Traffic Control Tower at Port Columbus International Airport. CRAA received permission from the FAA to connect to the STARS system and appreciates the FAA’s cooperation in obtaining this authorization. Radar data from the STARS system is downloaded and processed by CRAA’s Airport Noise and Operations Monitoring System (ANOMS) where it is then matched to noise events at the NMTs located in the communities surrounding Port Columbus and Rickenbacker and uploaded to the web site server. Airline and aircraft type information is encoded in 3 or 4 characters. For a list of airline abbreviations, click here. For a list of aircraft type abbreviations, click here.

Reliability of Radar Information

The intended use of this web site is to display the general location and flow of air traffic in the Columbus region. WebTrak information is not intended for navigational purposes or airline schedule information. While ANOMS processes radar data with a very high level of accuracy, in a small number of cases, flight plan and noise data may be incorrectly correlated.

Noise Measurement

Noise measurement on WebTrak is based on the average A-weighted noise energy from an aircraft flying over a monitor using one second durations. A-weighted decibels, abbreviated dB(A), are an expression of the relative loudness of sounds in air as perceived by the human ear. For example, 25 dB(A) is the approximate loudness of a person whispering in a quiet room. For a diagram of common noise sources and the decibel levels typically associated with them, click here. For more detailed information on decibels, click here.

The noise measurements on WebTrak should not to be confused with the Day-Night Average Sound Level, abbreviated DNL (or Ldn). DNL is a noise measure used to describe (in decibels) the average sound level over a 24-hour period, typically an average day over the course of a year. It does not represent the sound level heard at any particular time. In computing Day-Night Average Sound Level, an extra weight of ten decibels is assigned to noise occurring between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. to account for increased annoyance when ambient noise levels are lower and people are trying to sleep. DNL may be determined for individual locations or expressed in noise contours.