Check airport arrivals status

Ground transportation services need to know the status of airplane arrivals so they can plan their work. The Flight Status by Airport by Arrival API is available to integrate within dispatch software and mobile applications for drivers.

Audiences

  • Ground transportation

Platform

Check airport arrivals status

Ground transportation companies routinely pick up and drop off customers at nearby airports. For non-scheduled pickups, drivers are interested in eliminating wasted curb time waiting on delayed or canceled flights.

They might be interested in the status of arriving international flights or check to see if the last flights of the day were canceled or delayed. Drivers frequently use mobile applications or are notified by dispatch.

The Cirium Flight Status by Airport by Arrival API can be integrated into the software the drivers use for this important flight information.

How to check airport arrivals status

Use the following tasks to check airport arrivals status.

1) Get an application ID and key

To get started with Flight Status by Airport by Arrival API, you first need to get an account and an application ID and key. See Get evaluation account for more details on setting up an account. Flight Status by Airport APIs requires a contract. However, we offer a trial period where you can try them out.

Once you have your account, follow the instructions on Get started to acquire an application ID and key and to get familiar with the standard FlightStats API platform patterns.

2) Request data from the API

The Flight Status by Airport by Arrival API has a number of options to consider. Depending on the type of data format you want to consume, you can set format to json, jsonp, or XML. The API can return flights three days in advance of arrival until about seven days after arrival. As you are interested in a flight arriving at the current date, you would specify the current date at the airport in the year, month, and day values.

The next thing to consider is the time span of flights being returned. The API can return up to six hours of flights starting with the value in hourOfDay. The value for numHours controls how many hours of arrivals to include and determines the time span to consider. For large airports, you probably want to limit the flights being displayed to the current time, plus a few hours.

We recommend as a starting point to set hourOfDay to the current hour at the airport (24-hour time) and numHours to 2, which will return flights returning arriving now up to 2 hours in the future. Depending on your application, you might consider increasing the number of hours. To return a full day of flights, you will need to query the API four times as the maximum number of hours at a single time is six.

The only other parameter we recommend is to specify includeNewFields in the extendedOptions field. This returns two additional fields: operatingCarrier and primaryCarrier. Cirium flight status records are based on the carrier operating the flight. In the case of codeshares and wet leases, the primary carrier is most likely what you want to display back to the driver (Alaska instead of Horizon) for example.

Assuming that you're looking for flights arriving at PDX and the current date and time is January 25, 2022, at 1:40 pm, your API query will look like this:

https://api.flightstats.com/flex/flightstatus/rest/v2/json/airport/status/PDX/arr/2022/1/25/13?appId=YOUR_APP_ID&appKey=YOUR_KEY&utc=false&numHours=2&extendedOptions=includeNewFields"

This returns flights arriving from 1:00 pm - 3 pm. Since its current time is 1:40, your app most likely would want to filter those flights 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm if not all the way to 1:40 pm. This limits the number of upcoming flights displayed to be within the time range of 1:40 pm - 3 pm. If you want a full 2 hours of flights so you might consider increasing numHours to 3.

3) Parse the response

The Flight Status by Airport by Arrival API returns a large amount of information about the flights arriving at the airport. What information is displayed depends on the requirements of your application. We recommend the following set of data to return:

  • Primary Marketing Carrier and Flight Number

  • Departure Airport Code. This is so the driver knows where the flight is coming from

  • Scheduled Gate Arrival

  • Actual Gate Arrival if present, or Estimated Gate Arrival

  • Status

  • Arrival Gate Delay Minutes. This indicates that the flight hasn't landed and is late

  • Confirmed Incident

This example shows that flight AS 2058 operates between OAK and PDX on January 25, 2022.

The first thing to note is that AS 2058 has a primary carrier of AS but is operated by QX. QX (Horizon Airlines) operates this flight on behalf of Alaska, but it should be considered as an Alaska flight. Travelers can’t book flights with QX, but instead book through Alaska. Check-in and drop-off will be in gates and terminals that Alaska operates.

A flight might have a section that looks like:

That means that the particular flight is also marketed as G3 6135 and QR 2249. This isn’t really useful for drivers. What’s important is the primaryCarrier, which indicates the airline brand of the flight and helps suggest what terminal the airline will be arriving at.

The flight has a status of code of L, which means it has arrived. In the Operational times section, you’ll see times for scheduledGateArrival, estimatedGateArrival, and actualGateArrival. The dateLocal fields are the local times at the airport and the times you want to display. If there is an actualGateArrival time, you will want to display it. However if the flight has yet to land, use estimatedGateArrival to give the driver the estimated time for arrival.

This flight has an empty delays structure, which suggests the flight was on time. If you compare actualGateArrival time (2022-01-25T15:05:00.000) to the scheduledGateArrival time (2022-01-25T15:13:00.000), you’ll see that indeed true. The flight arrived at the gate eight minutes early.

Lastly, this flight doesn't have a confirmedIncident associated with it, which is good. A confirmedIncident means that a significant event has occurred with the aircraft.

Displaying the departure city name

To display the departure city name instead of the airport code, you need to use the departure airport code provided with the flight to lookup the airport in the appendix for the details about the particular airport, which includes the name of the city. The same is true for the airline name.

For example, a subset of the response for PDX arrivals looks like this:

This example shows that Flight AS 2058 operates between OAK and PDX on January 25, 2022.

To find the name of the airline that matches AS, look for an airline in the airlines array in the appendix for an airline with an FSCode of AS. That is Alaska Airlines.

Similarly, to find the city for airport code OAK, look in the airports array in the appendix for an airport with FSCode OAK. That is Oakland.

If you are interested in displaying the arrival terminal, this can be in the flight's airportResources parameter. For example, this indicates that the flight arrives at gate 25 in terminal 2.

Resources

Codeshares and wet leases explains the codeshare and wet lease relationships between companies.

Flight Status by Airport by Arrival API Returns the status of all flights arriving (or that did arrive) at an airport within a specified time.

FlightStats provide a set of status and positional APIs by flight, airport, fleet, route, or area. They also include schedules, airline reference, airport reference, ratings, delay index, and weather information.

Flight Status API provide current flight information, including scheduled, estimated and actual departure/arrival times, equipment type, delay calculations, terminal, gate, and baggage carousel.