About OurAirports

Overview

OurAirports is a free site where visitors can explore the world's airports, read other people's comments, and leave their own. The help pages have information to get you started.

The site is dedicated to both passengers and pilots. You can create a map of the airports you've visited and share that map with friends. You can find the closest airports to you, and discover the ones that you haven't visited yet.

Behind the fun and features, OurAirports exists primarily as a public good. When Australia forced the US government to shut down public access to its Digital Aeronautical Flight Information File (DAFIF) service in 2006, there was no longer a good source of global aviation data. OurAirports started in 2007 primarily to fill that gap: we encourage members to create and maintain data records for airports around the world, and they manage over 40,000 of them. Many web sites, smartphone apps, and other services rely on OurAirport's data, which is all in the Public Domain (no permission required).

Privacy Policy

OurAirports does not treat your personal information as a commodity: that means that we don't buy it, sell it, or use it to spam you. Still, privacy on the modern web is a tricky thing, and there are some points that you should be aware of:

  • OurAirports is a public site, and by "public", we mean PUBLIC. All content you explicitly submit to OurAirports through forms aside from your password, email address, and searches is released into Public Domain and can be viewed by anyone on the web, including search engines.

    That means that your user name, description of yourself, and profile (Twitter/LinkedIn/etc. public URL), the airports you've flagged as visited, every comment you leave, every correction you make to airport data, and your home airport (if you name it) are out there, on the web. This is an open-data web site, after all, and we don't believe that "open" means "we can benefit from it, but we'll hide it from everyone else".

  • Like nearly every site on the web, we log network activity. That means that we know the Internet address that you connected from and, most of the time, the URL of the web page that referred you to us. If you're logged in, we also have your login name and any information associated with it.

    We don't do anything evil with all that network-level information (in fact, we don't do anything good either, because this is a volunteer site, and no one has time to look at server logs). You should know, however, that any intermediary on the web that you connect through, such as a firewall or proxy, can also get this information.

    That means that your Internet service provider probably has that information as well, and we can't help what they do with it. If you're using open WiFi in an airport or coffee shop, then everyone there can also see what you're doing if they install some simple sniffing software on their laptops. If you don't want intermediaries to have access to that information (e.g. if you're trying to get your family out of a dangerous country and looking for the best exit airport), you can connect to all web sites via a trusted Virtual Private Network (VPN), which will hide your web activity from anyone trying to snoop on it.

  • If (and only if) you authorise it, OurAirports uses the W3C Geolocation API to obtain your current location from your web browser and prefill the latitude and longitude into the OurAirports search box.

    We can't get your location information unless you tell your browser/smartphone that we're allowed to, and even then, we use it only when you explicitly click on a link (not every time you visit a page on the site). The information goes back to us as a search request that indistinguishable from if you typed the latitude and longitude manually. We do not store your location in any way, except as it might appear in search requests, and we don't know if the search requests are your current location, or just a location you're interested in. See below, however, for other possible privacy issues outside our control.

  • The maps in OurAirports are provided through the Google Maps API. While OurAirports supplies some of the text and icons in the map, Google controls the part of the screen where the map appears, communicating directly with your browser, so OurAirports has no control over cookies or other information that may flow back and forth between your browser and Google. As a result, Google can potentially track every airport or other map-related page you visit in OurAirports. To learn more, please read Google's privacy policy.

  • The ads that appear on the right side of many OurAirports screens are provided by the Google AdSense program. As of 2016, our revenue from ads is approximately USD 350/month, which covers hosting costs for the site, but little of the effort spent developing and maintaining it (in a good month, what's left over after hosting pays for a few visits to a coffee shop to work on OurAirports). Nobody's job depends on this ad revenue, so please don't feel guilty if you choose to block these ads using an ad-filtering browser add-on like Adblock Plus. In the future, we may offer a donation option for people who want to support the site but are concerned about the privacy implications of online ads.

    Like much of the web, OurAirports also uses Google Analytics to collect anonymized information about how much traffic the web site gets, how people use it, and the parts of the world those people come from. If you would like to opt out from having Google Analytics collect information on the web sites you visit (not just OurAirports), Google provides an Opt-out browser add-on. There are also add-ons to various browsers to block not just analytics but all third-party tracking cookies (such as Facebook's, which we don't have on OurAirports): the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Privacy Badger is especially good.

    The privacy cautions that apply to the maps embedded on OurAirports pages also apply to the ads and analytics. On all sites that display Google ads and use Google Analytics, Google is able to collect a large amount of private information, including what town or city you're browsing from, what kind of browser you're using, and even the search string you used to reach a site. All of this information flows directly to Google from your browser, and is again, outside the control of OurAirports, but we wanted you to be aware of it. Again, to learn more, please read Google's privacy policy.

Credits

David Megginson

David Megginson, Founder, OurAirports

This site was created by David Megginson, a private pilot and frequent airline passenger. When he has time, David blogs about flying in Land and Hold Short, and about IT matters in Quoderat.

Of course, this site takes advantage of many other people's work. Special thanks to ...

  • the U.S. government for providing free airport and aviation weather data through the FAA and the now-discontinued (and much-missed) DAFIF;

  • George Plews for maintaining an up-to-date data list of all Canadian airports and seaplane bases;

  • Marc Wick at Geonames for permission to run thousands of batch queries against his geolocation APIs;

  • all the contributors who have supplied airport data to Paul Tomblin's navaid.com site;

  • all the contributors who have supplied airport data to the SoaringWeb.org and Great Circle Mapper sites;

  • the list of North Korean airports at the FAS report;

  • Raul Robledo, for information on thousands of Brazilian airports.

  • the Kwik Navigation Flight Planner site, which contains information about hundreds of Australian airports;

  • the many authors of Wikipedia for creating and maintaining so many useful geographical and aeronautical lists;

  • FlightStats for offering embeddable arrival and departure information for airports.

  • forecast.io for offering embeddable weather forecasts based on latitude and longitude.

  • Google Maps for providing a free, high-quality mapping API and geocoder;

  • the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, for making OurAirports data part of their humanitarian crisis data service;

  • my spouse, Bonnie, who has helped with OurAirports despite the demands of many of her own projects; and

  • all the passengers and pilots who have sent airport data, corrections, and comments to OurAirports, especially our top contributors, who volunteer many hours of their time every month keeping constantly-changing airport information up to date.