Is there a way to make sure a flight is tracked on flightaware.com or similar sites?
Similarly, is there a way to prevent a flight's track from being available to the public?
Skimming FlightAware's FAQs:
- The most consistent way to show up on FlightAware is to have your flight worked by ATC (a squawk code and an IFR flight plan), or to fly an airplane equipped with ADS-B Out.
- FlightAware doesn't really track VFR flights unless they have ADS-B Out:
some VFR aircraft with flight following are available on the position maps but it largely unreliable
These sites use volunteers that host equipment on an internet connection. Typically these sites will receive Data from Mode S Transponders from up to 200+ miles away with the right aerials. I only need about 6-8 sites to cover the whole Philippines. Line Of Sight limits below horizon reception, so you do need a station close to an airport if you want to get ground traffic.
If you emit Mode-S then you will be seen. There are no regulations to prohibit that and almost impossible to enforce.
Anyone can create this setup for less than $30.00, so there is no point in worrying about who is seeing what.
The FAA so have the ability to hide a specific aircraft, you can request that, but the private networks will report the data.
There is another technology called MultiLateration that can determine an aircraft's location form 4 or more ground stations with Mode A or Mode C transponders. Flight Radar are actively implementing this in Europe now. It requires a network called PlanePlotter to operate.