I don’t remember exactly when I first learned of the FAA‘s Air Traffic Control System Command Center and the website they operate showing known flight delay status around the country. But over the past several years I’ve used the site far more than is probably healthy. The site is a single, centralized place form which one can quickly and easily determine what airports have know traffic flow problems, delays and generally are going to be a pain to fly in and out of.
A few days ago I got to thinking about the site and the airports it monitors and how often the status changes and wondered if it was possible to create a “push” version of the data rather than needing to go to the site to check on things. And I thought about some of the Twitter tools I’ve created. And I figured it would be fun to try to blend the two together. Turns out it works. So now there are 39 new Twitter accounts and one Twitter List, all sharing data about when there are delays at the major airports around the country and why those delays are happening.
The concept is pretty simple: Every time there is a delay posted at one of the monitored airports it will send a tweet out with the details. When there is no longer a delay another tweet gets sent letting you know that, too. You can follow the individual accounts or the whole list to get updates in your Twitter feed on the bits which are interesting to you. The above image is snapshot of what the list looked like on Tuesday evening with a few delays rolling through the system, some for weather and some for other stuff.
I went into this thinking it was just something I thought would be fun to try to make work. In the end I think it might actually be useful, too. Take a look and let me know if you agree. And if there are other airports you think might be useful let me know and I can try to add them, too.
Also, if you’ve got a luggage tag for one of the airports which I don’t have an icon/avatar for yet and want to share I’m accepting contributions.