By Dan Cook | 18 Mar 2024

What is Flight Watch in aviation?

Within the continually developing aviation industry, one constant remains: safety and efficiency are paramount!

In this article, I explain how Flight Watch plays a critical role…

But what is Flight Watch, and why is it essential in today’s air travel?

Exactly what is flight watch?

Flight Watch, also commonly known as Flight Following or Flight Monitoring, refers to the continuous tracking and monitoring of aircraft movements by ground based crew within the OCC, aviation authorities and air traffic controllers.

The Flight Watch procedure involves closely monitoring aircraft positions, flight paths, communication with each aircraft, potential weather and NOTAM issues, and adherence to air traffic regulations to ensure safe and efficient flights.

In practice, Flight Watch operates through a combination of satellite surveillance, communication systems, and real-time data analysis. Usually by a rotating shift of operators, dispatchers, or sub-contractors for smaller businesses.

flight watch in operations control centre

What are the key purposes of Flight Watch?

Fundamentally, Flight Watch serves several crucial objectives for airlines and aviation businesses:

Flight Safety
The primary objective of Flight Watch is to maintain and enhance safety in the skies. By tracking aircraft movements using ACARS or ADS-B positioning, monitoring Wx & NOTAM changes, and alerting flight crew to potential hazards, Flight Watch aids in averting collisions, deterring flight deviations, and mitigating other safety incidents.

Emergency Response
In the event of an emergency, such as an aircraft malfunction or an unexpected deviation from its flight route, operators in Flight Watch duty provide a vital communication link between pilots and ground-based support services.

METAR, TAF & NOTAM Monitoring
Wx and NOTAM monitoring contributes to Flight Watch situational awareness, by providing crucial weather and airport status information to pilots and air traffic controllers. Operators staying updated on these reports, means they can effectively anticipate potential hazards and plan flight routes.

Traffic Management
Flight Watch plays a crucial role in managing air traffic flow and maintaining orderly operations in congested airspace. By tracking aircraft movements and providing real-time updates to pilots and ATC controllers, Flight Watch can help optimize flight routes and minimize delays.

Compliance Monitoring
Flight Watch also plays a role in ensuring compliance with airspace restrictions, flight rules, and operational procedures. By tracking aircraft movements and verifying compliance with prescribed routes and altitudes, Flight Watch helps maintain aviation safety standards.

flight following duties during flight watch

Have you considered a Flight Watch solution?

The skybook Flight Watch solution offers a comprehensive 3-in-1 system, equipping flight operation teams with the tools necessary to efficiently track all aircraft, promptly identify weather patterns and concerns, and stay informed about any significant NOTAMs as they occur.

Access comprehensive flight tracking capabilities for entire fleets or specific aircraft, integrated with real-time weather and environmental data. Operators can see planned position data directly from the operational flight plan to enhance situational awareness.

What is a must for Flight Watch… when an aircraft deviates from its planned position, skybook Flight Watch activates an alert to make operators instantly aware of the potential emergency.

Essential for all airlines… when an aircraft veers off its intended course, skybook Flight Watch triggers an alert to immediately notify operators of a potential emergency! Providing full GADSS compliance for airlines. 


Flight Watch is vital!

In conclusion, Flight Watch is a crucial aspect providing situational awareness, essential for ensuring safety and efficiency for airlines and business jet operators.

Through surveillance of aircraft movements and delivering real-time updates for ground operators, Flight Watch contributes to establishing a safer and more secure airspace environment for everyone.

Why not learn more about skybook and how it could help improve your Flight Watch responsibilities?


By Dan Cook | 18 Mar 2024

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About the Author

Dan Cook

Head of Marketing

Bytron Aviation Systems

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