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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  18 Aug 2020

18 Aug 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Crowdsourced Air Traffic Data from the OpenSky Network 2019–20

Martin Strohmeier1,2,4, Xavier Olive3,4, Jannis Lübbe4, Matthias Schäfer4,5, and Vincent Lenders1,4 Martin Strohmeier et al.
  • 1armasuisse Science + Technology, Switzerland
  • 2University of Oxford, UK
  • 3ONERA DTIS, Université de Toulouse, France
  • 4OpenSky Network
  • 5University of Kaiserslautern, Germany

Abstract. The OpenSky Network is a non-profit association that crowdsources the global collection of live air traffic control data broadcast by airplanes and makes it available to researchers.

OpenSky's data has been used by over a hundred academic groups in the past five years, with popular research applications ranging from improved weather forecasting to climate analysis. With the COVID-19 outbreak, the demand for live and historic aircraft flight data has surged further. Researchers around the world use air traffic data to comprehend the spread of the pandemic and analyze the effects of the global containment measures on economies, climate and other systems.

With this work, we present a comprehensive air traffic dataset, derived and enriched from the full OpenSky data and made publicly available for the first time (Olive et al. (2020), DOI: It spans all flights seen by the network's more than 3000 members between 1 January 2019 and 1 July 2020. Overall, the archive includes 41 900 660 flights, from 160 737 aircraft, which were seen to frequent 13 934 airports in 127 countries.

Martin Strohmeier et al.

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Martin Strohmeier et al.

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Crowdsourced air traffic data from The OpenSky Network 2020 [CC-BY] Xavier Olive, Martin Strohmeier, and Jannis Lübbe

Martin Strohmeier et al.


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Short summary
Flight data has been used widely for research by academic researchers and (supra-)national institutions. Example domains range from epidemiology (e.g. examining the spread of COVID-19 via air travel) to economics (e.g. use as proxy for immediate forecasting of the state of a country's economy) and Earth Sciences (climatology in particular). Until now, accurate flight data has been available only in small pieces from closed, proprietary sources. This work changes this using a crowdsourced effort.
Flight data has been used widely for research by academic researchers and (supra-)national...