FAAwait Reference

FAAwait Overview


This application provides real-time access to the FAA's status information for U.S. airports (some Canadian airports are also included).  Only airports reporting delays of more than 15 minutes are noted by the FAA.  All others are presumed to be operating normally or with minimal delays.  Note that these delays are for the overall airport or surrounding airspace, and may not reflect all potential issues for any given flight or airline.

Delays are usually caused by weather and/or traffic congestion and are divided into major categories, including:

Ground Stops:
Flights may not depart to the airport listed until the ground stop expires
Ground Delays:
Flights departing to the airport listed are subject to a delay at their origin (this delay may vary by origin)
Departure Delays:
Flights departing from the airport listed are experiencing delays
Arrival Delays:
Flights arriving at the airport listed are experiencing delays
Closed Airport:
The airport listed is closed to all traffic

Delays may be encountered at both ends of a given flight route, and an airport may experience multiple delay categories at once.  The estimated delays and trends are shown (if available), but they should only be used as a general guide to the status of an airport.  An airport listing does not mean any particular flight will have the exact delay indicated.  Airlines should always be contacted directly for the status of specific flights.

Common delay reasons are translated into more descriptive text when possible. If you would like to see the original FAA text all the time, this can be turned off on the Settings screen.  For more information on FAA terminology, refer to the Advanced section. 

The normal display of airport delay information is a list format that can be scrolled if needed.  Tapping any individual airport will provide a menu of additional information, including links to weather websites. 
At the bottom of the display, buttons allow you to refresh the display, show a national map of weather alerts from the National Weather Service, and open other external web links and applications. 

Apple Watch Support: This version introduces Apple Watch support, with the goal of providing quick access to delay information right on your wrist. For best performance, we recommend leaving the app in your Watch Dock, or adding a FAAwait complication to your watch face. However, due to system limitations in how often complications can be updated, this version does not attempt to display any real-time delay information in the complication itself. This may change in future versions, but currently the app cannot display timely enough information to be consistently useful. This version also requires active communication with the FAAwait app on your iPhone to function properly. This, too, will be addressed in future updates as the platform continues to evolve and improve.


Map View


To see the delay information visually on a map, rotate your device into landscape mode.  When viewing the map, you can tap the "as of" text to refresh the information. Airports with delays are shown within their delay categories at the bottom. Tapping any airport listed will show more detail as to the delay involved and zoom to that point on the map.

The map can be panned and zoomed like other iOS maps, and airport dots can also be tapped to display more information. To return to the default map scale, tap the U.S. icon in the lower left corner of the map.

The map only shows select major airports that are in normal (green) mode, although the locations of most airports are also indicated on the map if they have an active delay.

Special airport codes (starting with "Z") are used to indicate air route traffic control centers and are not represented on the map view.  Delays at these "locations" may impact flights traversing that airspace, even if their departure and arrival airports are otherwise trouble-free.


Weather Map


FAAwait includes an integrated color-coded map of active National Weather Service (NWS) alerts. It is provided as a quick summary of weather conditions in the continental U.S.

The map can be manipulated using standard pinch-to-zoom and panning gestures. To return to the default view, double-tap anywhere on the map.

Below the map is a dynamically generated legend for the colors shown. The color, description, and percentage of the map's total alert area are provided. To isolate a particular alert type, tap it in the legend. That line and the corresponding color on the map will turn red. To return to the original map colors, tap the line again or scroll the list. Be aware that some alerts may only be active in a single county, so they may be difficult to see without zooming in.

Note that multiple weather alerts may be active in an area, but only one primary color will be depicted on the map. Also, similar weather conditions sometimes share a single color; in these cases the description shown may not match the specific text of the active alert. For the exact details of current weather conditions, always refer directly to weather.gov via the link at the bottom of the map legend. This allows access to the full NWS site via Safari.

Occasionally new alert colors may appear on the map that FAAwait does not know how to describe. These will be shown as an (Unknown Category) and will be added in future app releases as they become known.


Advanced Reference


Delay List Groupings

By default, delays shown are grouped by delay category (Ground Stop, Arrival Delay, etc.). On the Settings screen, this grouping can be changed to use either the airport name or code instead. This makes it easier to see multiple delays for the same airport at once. Note that this setting does not change the format of the display on the landscape-mode delay map.

Background Monitoring / App Badge

FAAwait can operate in the background and update its application icon with summary delay statistics. This feature can be activated on the Settings screen, and requires user approval of iOS notifications when prompted. You can select to show either the total number of airports with delays, or the total number of delay entries (as a single airport may have multiple delay types active). The update frequency can also be selected, from five minutes up to four hours.

Note that frequent background updates can negatively impact battery life. To conserve battery usage, FAAwait will automatically suspend its background updates if the app has not been opened in three days. Also, iOS's built-in power conservation logic may adjust the update frequency from the requested interval.


Other Settings
Status Colors:
By default, the status area at the top of the screen is color coded by the number of airports with delays, and the severity of the delays at individual airports. If desired, these colors can be turned off in the settings and replaced with simple grays.
Time Zone:
By default, the "as of" time shown in the app reflects the local time zone. If desired, the GMT/UTC time zone can be displayed instead. Note that neither choice impacts any explicit times provided in delay reports, which are always provided verbatim.
Terminology Translation:
By default, the app will attempt to translate FAA terminology and abbreviations into layman's terms, but this can be disabled. If no known translated version is available, the original terms will always be shown.

Common abbreviations used in untranslated delay reasons:

TM/TMI/TM Initiatives (Traffic Management):
Traffic management programs designed to better regulate the flow of aircraft
ASP (Arrival Sequencing Program):
A TMI that adjusts flight arrivals to match the capacity to handle them
DSP (Departure Sequencing Program):
A TMI that adjusts flight departures to match the capacity to handle them
ESP (En Route Sequencing Program):
A TMI that adjusts en route flights to match the capacity to handle them
SWAP (Severe Weather Avoidance Program):
A TMI that routes traffic around severe weather near an airport or air route

EQ (Equipment):
A traffic condition involving airport or air traffic control equipment
VOL (Volume):
A traffic condition involving high airport or air route flight volume
WX (Weather):
A traffic condition involving weather (thunderstorms, high winds, low visibility, low cloud ceilings, etc.)
WX DEV (Weather Deviation):
Traffic deviated from an airport or air route due to weather conditions

ARTCC (Air Route Traffic Control Center):
FAA facility that monitors and directs traffic en route between airports
MINIT (Minutes In Trail):
A spacing interval between aircraft defined by time; can be adjusted to regulate air traffic flows
MIT (Miles In Trail):
A spacing interval between aircraft defined by distance; can be adjusted to regulate air traffic flows
RWY (Runway):
A situation involving a specific runway
TMA (Traffic Management Advisor):
An automated FAA system to assist in sequencing aircraft traffic
For more details on these and other terms, visit www.fly.faa.gov. However, please note that the terms and abbreviations as published in realtime by the FAA are sometimes inconsistent and may vary from those defined here. The reasons given may also refer to specific situations (such as "Hurricane").


FAAwait is not provided or endorsed by the Federal Aviation Administration or National Weather Service

© 2008-2017 Bryan Figler and Tactical Logic, LLC