Quite often we have questions from users about why this or that airport is not supported yet by Flights Live feature, and we would like to give sort of an answer with a short technical explanation.
Specifics of our project is that usually there is a reason to have an airport rather than not to have it. Flights Live the planespotting timetables – is a core feature of SpotterLead. It operates like any search engine like Google or Bing: it crawls airport sites and represents data found in a planespotter-convenient way.
But unlike Google or Bing, each airport (in some cases, group of airports) is being served by an individual flight data aggregation algorithm and requires lots of attention: each one should be developed, tested and, what’s more important, constantly maintained throughout its lifetime. The more airports you have, the more often these airports change its sites.
For instance, now we have Portuguese airports pages inoperational because airports changed their site and our aggregation algorithm stopped working. It automatically means that a new algorithm should be created, and it might take few days.
And this happens constantly.
Moreover, not all airport sites may be crawled within a reasonable way and time limits. For instance we are still not able to support Paris airports, Dusseldorf, New York JFK or Rome. It’s all a subject of individual research and we currently have not enough hands to provide a rapid grow of our coverage and to keep it live.
We also not yet able to use any universal API for live planespotting timetables (what could potentially solve this problem) as soon as these are extremely expensive for a small non-profit niche project like SpotterLead. Introducing this will make us to charge users and charge a lot, what we want to avoid ideally.
However, we have already had to add some advertisements on our site to cover at least some part of maintenance costs. And we would really appreciate if you won’t block it 🙂
And, of course we keep working on a project and looking for possible solutions to resolve problems described above. Meanwhile we are continuing to improve site itself, add new airports exclusively and develop some new features.
How you can expedite adding your airport? Well, you can send us a message via support form. We have quite a long queue of airports, so the more of
Stay tuned and enjoy your planespotting with SpotterLead! 🙂