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I am looking for an API to get the arrivals and departures timetable for any airport in real time, like this table on the EuroAirport website:

EuroAiport arrivals and departures

Are services like FlightAware or FlightStats relevant for me? I am a non-native English speaker so airport-specific language is a bit tough for me, I am not sure I fully understand what those APIs provide.

Edit : paying APIs are okay, I have a budget of around 100€ a month for this project

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    $\begingroup$ While some of us are programmers, your probably better served on stackoverflow. $\endgroup$ – Peter Jan 12 '17 at 13:38
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    $\begingroup$ @Peter that question would be very off topic on stackoverflow. Questions asking us to recommend or find a book, tool, software library, tutorial or other off-site resource are off-topic for Stack Overflow <-- close reason $\endgroup$ – Jamiec Jan 12 '17 at 14:03
  • $\begingroup$ I found answers about FlightAware on Stack Overflow but they are not really clear nor provided by aviation experts, that's why I try my luck here :) $\endgroup$ – Eric Burel Jan 12 '17 at 14:22
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    $\begingroup$ Same here? Stackoverflow is full of this questions and answers, because the people need answers for this kind of questions. @Eric Burel: Does FlightAware not offer the required data? $\endgroup$ – Peter Jan 12 '17 at 14:23
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe this, looks like the data is not free of charge: developer.flightstats.com/api-docs/scheduledFlights/v1 $\endgroup$ – Peter Jan 12 '17 at 14:25
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It appears that Flightaware does have an API (both SOAP and REST) that would satisfy your needs.

Here is the documentation, see "arrived", "departed", "en route", and "scheduled".

Here's a code example from that page that gets data on flights en route to JFK and KSMO (this fits your arrivals criteria no?):

enter image description here

That said, you'll probably want to experiment with the API once you create an account and get a key to see if it meets all of your requirements.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for this answer and all the comments. I indeed think FlightAware will be okay, I'll let you know when I have tried it. $\endgroup$ – Eric Burel Jan 13 '17 at 11:30
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You could probably try with ADS-B exchange. You can query their server using the following url https://public-api.adsbexchange.com/VirtualRadar/AircraftList.json

It will give you a list (in the form of a json string) of all the aircraft currently being tracked (the "acList" tag contains the list of aircraft). Most aircraft operating in major airports are equipped with ADS-B transponder so they would appear in your feed.

You can of course filter the json string around your area of interest. By reading the documentation, it looks like appending ?fAir=LHR would give all the aircraft currently tracked that departed from/en route to Heathrow.

It should be pretty easy to then parse the string to get the information you want (carrier, type of aircraft etc.). All programming languages these days have libraries allowing to easily and quickly parse json. I am not sure how often the server refreshes it's data...every second maybe?

Not the most practical solution, as I am not sure if there is an easy solution to work out ETA or departure time but you could give it a try (it's free!)

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  • $\begingroup$ But this is not what OP asked for. Using ADS-B does not provide that info. $\endgroup$ – not2qubit Jan 5 '18 at 11:35

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