JetNet Acquires Plane-Tracking Company ADS-B Exchange, Raising Concerns Over Public Access to Flight Information

  • JetNet acquires ADS-B Exchange, a Plane-Tracking Company
  • Concerns Over Removal of Public Access to Flight Information Following Sale to JetNet
Photo: GlobalAir

JetNet, an aviation data company, announced on Wednesday that it has acquired ADS-B Exchange, a website that provides free tracking of commercial aircraft worldwide.

ADS-B Exchange is a plane-tracking company that was founded in 2016. The company uses over 9,000 volunteer-run radios, also known as “feeders,” to transmit data from aircraft equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) technology. This technology broadcasts information such as GPS location and altitude from one aircraft to another, and to ground stations, providing a real-time view of aircraft movement.

The website has gained popularity due to the college student at the University of Central Florida who tracks Elon Musk‘s jet, Jack Sweeney.

Sweeney used the information provided by the website to track certain aircraft, including those owned by individuals such as Elon Musk, Donald Trump, and Taylor Swift. He also set up bots to automatically share flight information on Twitter.

Sweeney has expressed concern that the tracking software used to monitor the flight information of celebrity aircraft could be removed from public access following the sale of the website to JetNet.

In a statement, Dan Streufert, the President and Founder of ADS-B Exchange said the deal with JetNet will “meet the business needs of our users while maintaining our enthusiast roots and unfiltered data.”

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