Advancements in Flight Tracking are Live

The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) recently upgraded its flight tracking data collection system to obtain a more advanced and accurate stream of aircraft activity data. This advancement and new source of data are considered a "Next Generation" flight track data collection system, which uses enhanced technology to collect and process flight data. It facilitates a higher level of accuracy, quicker data update rates, more expansive coverage area and superb reliability when compared to traditional flight tracking systems.

The system is currently being used to obtain data for flights operating within a 40-mile area around the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and extending to a height of 20,000 feet. These data are used by the MAC Aircraft Noise and Operations Monitoring System (MACNOMS) for analysis of air traffic activity at all seven MAC-owned airports. This activity may be accessed by the public through use of the FlightTracker tool found on the MAC Noise Program Office website at

MACNOMS collects the Next Generation flight track data through a multi-sensor surveillance data feed available for the U.S. National Airspace System. The data feed is a fusion of multiple data collection services, including data from a privately-owned network of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) sensors, FAA en route and terminal secondary surveillance data, FAA Airport Surface Detection Equipment Model X (ASDE-X) data, FAA Wide Area Multilateration (WAM) data, and FAA flight plan data. 

Before the advancements, the MAC Noise Program Office relied on a localized system of eight multilateration sensors to acquire flight tracking information, after which MAC staff processed the data for public use. The Next Generation flight tracking process allows greater efficiency in data processing and timely accessibility for the public. 

For more information about MACNOMS or to access flight track data, please visit