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View Can I Monitor the Status of Inbound Private Aircraft Flights

Category:HWeb Dispatcher
Category:HWeb Agent

Can I Monitor the Status of Inbound Private Aircraft Flights?

The answer to this question is " YES! "  In order to track the status of private aircraft, a few key conditions must first be met:

  1. The flight / aircraft must be track-able
  2. You must have a flight tracking account enabled
  3. HWeb Software version 1.89b or later (HWeb Bridge 1.44+)
  4. You must configure HWeb applications to allow Tail Numbers

1)  Track-able aircraft
All commerical and private aircraft must file flight plans with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA ~ flights in the USA).  The aircraft must also contain a transponder that relays current flight status data (flight number or tail number, altitude, airspeed, latitude, longitude, heading, etc) to a ground radar tracking station.  Commercial aircraft all have these transponders and automatically transmit this data continually to the FAA.  Most corporate, and many private aircraft have this same transponder as well, however not all private aircraft are so equipped.  Only aircraft with these transponders can be tracked via Hudson applications.

2) Flight tracking account must be enabled
Hudson applications currently interface with two flight data sources: FlightView, and OAG. Both of these data sources require a special subscription account, arranged through The Hudson Group, that allows you to lookup current flight status for commercial and general aviation flights.  As of the date of this KB article (Spring ‘08) the tracking of private aircraft is only available through FlightView.

3) You must be running Hudson HWeb Agent / HWeb Dispatcher application version 1.89b or higher.  You must also have HWeb Bridge version 1.44 or higher.  Additionally, HWebFlt.dll v1.04 or later is required as is ResFC v1.31 or later.

4) Configuring HWeb applications to allow for Tail Numbers
When entering reservations where you will be tracking a flight, you MUST enter either a flight number or a Tail Number.  The flight number is a 2-4 digit number, which when combined with the airline name, defines a specific flight between two or more cities. Examples include:  United Airlines 365,  Delta Airlines 527,  British Airways 210.  When entering reservations for passengers travelling on private aircraft, the airline field is typically left blank and the flight number field will contain the aircraft Tail Number. Similar to a License Plate on an automobile, this is a registration number, unique to each and every aircraft. The Tail Number on an airplane, usually clearly visible on the vertical tail section, begins with one or two letters or numbers that correspond to the country where the aircraft is registered (e.g.  N= United States, F= France, CF= Canada, G= United Kingdom, etc.).  This is followed by several more numbers and letters that uniquely identify the aircraft.  It is this entire sequence of letters and numbers that should entered into the Flight Number field of the reservation when tracking a non-commercial, private flight.

When your system is configured to monitor the status of inbound flights,  you will need to setup an airlines.csv table for each airport that is being serviced. (A blank csv template may be downloaded from this article. Follow the link in the right margin of this article.) For that airport, you will need to specify, a list of airlines that arrive / depart that airport and some of the information regarding each of those airlines (departure terminal, arrival terminal, arrival and departure delays, etc.  To track General Aviation flights, you will setup an airline named Private, General, Tail Number, or similar.  In Column Y (Flight Number Trim Type) of the csv file,  for "Private" airline you will enter the number 1.  This is a code that tells the Hudson system, that when looking up flights for this airline, the flight number is to be treated as a Tail Number, and that it is not associated with a commercial airline.  (Note: the pickup and drop off fields in the reservation record must contain the actual airport code and NOT a dummy airport code such as xx1).

This enhancement is reported in Hudson Release Tracker.