Aircraft Radar skill for Amazon Alexa

“Alexa, ask Aircraft Radar what’s nearby.”

Aircraft Radar uses live ADS-B radio signals, collected by volunteers, to tell you what airplanes are around you.

You can ask it “Alexa, ask Aircraft Radar …”:

  • “what airplanes are around?”
  • “what jets are overhead?”
  • “what was that?”
  • “are there any helicopters nearby?”
  • “what’s the nearest aircraft?”
  • “are there any military planes around?”
  • …and more!

Getting Started

Click “Enable Skill” on the Aircraft Radar skill page, or ask Alexa to “enable the Aircraft Radar skill”.

This skill requires your Echo to have an address assigned to it, and you’ll need to give Aircraft Radar permission in the Alexa app to access your address. (Here’s a screenshot showing that configuration in the Alexa app.)

Ask Questions

You can ask Aircraft Radar for airplanes that are “nearby,” “around,” or similar words. It looks for aircraft within 40km of you. Aircraft Radar will tell you about the nearest aircraft that match your search. If there are more than a few, it’ll tell you about the first 3 or 4 and then ask you if you want to hear the rest.

You can also ask for just the nearest aircraft — for example, “Alexa, ask Aircraft Radar, what’s the nearest airplane” — instead of asking what’s nearby. This will return only one result, and it’ll include more details (like the plane’s registration number, and the destination airport and a photo, if Aircraft Radar can find those.)

Finally, you can search for jets, helicopters, or military aircraft. So, instead of asking “what aircraft are nearby,” you might ask “Alexa, ask Aircraft Radar what jets are around” or “what helicopters are overhead.”

Data & Accuracy

Data from ADS-B Exchange makes this skill possible. Please consider donating to ADS-B Exchange if you enjoy Aircraft Radar.

Be aware that not all airplanes transmit ADS-B data just yet, and not all geographical areas have a volunteer receiving ADS-B radio transmissions from nearby aircraft. Consider running your own receiver and feeding the results to ADS-B Exchange if you want to help improve this skill in your geographical area.

Support/Donate

In addition to the time required for maintenance and improvements to this software, I pay for a small DigitalOcean server, which provides a critical caching layer for the Aircraft Radar skill. I also send a monthly payment to ADS-B Exchange.

Please donate whatever you’d like toward these costs:

Open-Source

Aircraft Radar and its supporting services are open-source:

Pull requests and bug reports are welcome.

Feedback

Please send feedback via the bug tracker or via email to chris@dzombak.com.

(Unfortunately, I may not be able to reply to every email I receive.)

Aircraft Radar Icon