How Many Planes Are in the Sky Now?

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The number of planes soaring through the skies hovers between 10,000 to 15,000 at any given moment, an ever-changing spectacle that can be witnessed with a simple from flightaware

In the year 2017, FlightAware’s program spotted a total of 9,728 planes gliding above the globe, but this number is in a constant state of flux. As planes continuously take off and land, the count shifts with each passing minute. The aviation landscape witnessed a remarkable shift from 2020 to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a reduced number of planes gracing the skies. During that period, the count fluctuated between 7,782 and 8,755 planes, as revealed by Kathleen Bang, the spokesperson for FlightAware.

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The summer months, filled with leisurely travels, holidays, and weekend getaways, witness a surge in the number of flights worldwide, thus increasing the airborne fleet. Interestingly, January stands as the month with fewer planes in the United States.

Aircraft companies utilize Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) technology to track flights. Most airplanes are equipped with ADS-B devices, which automatically transmit essential data such as the aircraft’s current location, altitude, and weather conditions to the airline’s control centers. The companies employ this data to monitor their planes in real-time. For instance, FlightAware possesses a private network comprising 34,000 ADS-B receivers scattered worldwide, enabling comprehensive flight tracking, even in remote areas like deserts, oceans, and polar regions.

Various websites offer real-time tracking of planes in the sky:

  1. Flightradar24: The ultimate flight tracking app, allowing aviation enthusiasts to effortlessly monitor aircraft movements worldwide. With a global network and over 130 countries covered, it provides real-time flight paths, destinations, speeds, altitudes, arrival, departure times, and even delays. Additionally, it offers unique features like Cockpit View, providing a three-dimensional perspective from the pilot’s eyes. While the app is free, a premium version with additional benefits can be subscribed for $1.49 per month.
  2. FlightAware: A top-rated flight tracking app available for Android and iOS users, offering real-time tracking and location of commercial and private flights worldwide. It provides timely notifications about flight changes, cancellations, weather updates for airports, and aircraft details. FlightAware also uses ADS-B to ensure accurate flight data and utilizes a network of 34,000 ADS-B receivers to cover even remote regions. While the app is free, a version without ads is available for $0.99 per month.
  3. FlightStats: Another great flight tracking option for travelers worldwide, with an elegant interface displaying essential flight information such as departure times, delays, and weather conditions. It allows filtering flights based on routes or flight numbers. Some features may require payment, but FlightStats Today offers a convenient way to monitor flight status directly from your device’s lock screen.
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    How Many Planes Are in the Air Right Now?
    How Many Planes Are in the Air Right Now?

  4. Plane Finder: A powerful app for iPhone and iPad users, it provides a straightforward way to search for flights using various filters and displays airline logos alongside the aircraft for easy identification. Plane Finder uses ADS-B signals to deliver accurate flight data, and it offers historical flight tracking and in-flight camera tracking using your device’s camera.
  5. App in the Air: More than just a flight tracking tool, it serves as your personal travel assistant. With AI capabilities, it understands your preferences and offers personalized travel suggestions. You can book flights and hotels directly within the app, receive real-time notifications about flight changes, and even operate offline to keep you informed during your journey.

So, whether you’re a plane enthusiast or a frequent traveler, these creative flight tracking options provide a fascinating insight into the world of aviation.

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