MAC unveils new mobile-friendly flight tracker with enhanced data

The MAC Noise Offce online flight tracker recently received a complete makeover and was unveiled on Wednesday, June 20.

The Flight Tracker has long been popular with aviation enthusiasts and residents near Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) for monitoring flights and noise levels. But the new tool offers enhanced features including a mobile-device friendly interface, the capability to see each flight's real-time speed and altitude, and find a noise level from the MAC sound-monitoring devices located in neighborhoods near the airport.

"The new Flight Tracker takes MSP to the next level with its presentation of user-friendly data," said Dana Nelson, Manager of Noise, Environment and Planning for the MAC. "We are continually working to make flight data more accessible to the public."

New features of the redesigned flight tracker include:

  • Users can view all flights in a certain timespan that they select, but with much more data on individual flights than was previously available. Flight speed, altitude, aircraft type, airline, and flight number, origin and destination are all available in a small box next to each flight on the map.
  • Type in your address or drop a pin on the map, and the tracker tells you how close an aircraft is to you, recorded in tenths of a mile. If the plane is less than one mile away, the measurement is given in feet.
  • In the Animated view, users can see all the data from noise-monitoring stations. As a plane flies over a monitor, a color-coded graphic indicates the decibel measurement.
  • In Static view, users can draw a "gate" or a line on the map. Any flight that crossed that line will generate statistics for the user. The altitude and the distance from the gate starting point will be plotted on a chart. Data points also provide attributes about individual flights.
  • The website will also provide daily bar charts, noting how many airplanes arrived and departed each hour at MSP and how the runways were configured for air traffic at the time. Wind direction typically determines which direction airplanes are taking off and landing.
  • Weather data is provided both in text form and visually using animated radar. 

The new Flight Tracker will also capture data on some flights at the MAC's six reliever airports, depending on what data from each flight is available to the tracking system. Users can access the tool directly at