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Creating a basic airport database (merged)

As David has mentioned here we aren’t going to do one at present, for various reasons, one of which is that it would rapidly get out of date.

IMHO people would be likely to look up an airport and just retrieve some info on it from a database, or – upon finding the last entry was 10 years previously as is often the case in the GA database sites – they would just not use it.

But if they post some questions about it, they will get up to date answers and this is a much better way to go forward. Using the search facility on the ICAO code will quickly dig out the postings. The banner at the top of this forum section has been updated to remind everyone to use ICAO codes (as well as the names) when discussing airports.

For whatever reason(s) the several GA airport databases that are out there are simply not getting updated, except by a very small number of diligent pilots who tend to go to a small selection of airports.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Could you incorporate automatic search of the ICAO code when just the name is used as a search query and vice versa?

EGBB

I think the problem with names is that there can be several, and with different spellings (and spelling mistakes) on top.

For example EGBJ has been called

Staverton
Gloucester
Gloucestershire

and that is just ones I know about and can spell

Then you will get e.g.

Gloster
Glostershire
etc

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

one of which is that it would rapidly get out of date.

If there is a link between autorouter (a tool used by people that actually fly to airports) and a forum that host discussions about the visited airports,
it will become a shared effort to keep the database up to date.

People can even be reminded with an automated email to get feedback on less often visited airports (because you know who have visited them).
I use eddh.de and for 80% of the airports I plan to go to I find recent information. If there is little information about an airport, that’s usually a sign that you shouldn’t fly there ;-)

As someone who has contributed a couple of pireps to eddh.de, I can say it works really well.

It is not out of date at all (but it’s the only one of that kind on the web). Sure, if you look for some small airport in the east of Bulgaria, you might not find much, but all the usual place have lots of recent and useful infos. Also, much of the information there does not become “void” very quickly. It is not to substitute AIP information; it’s for all the “other” stuff.

I am in close contact with the “ghost” behind eddh.de and he says eddh.de is still growing in terms of traffic, even after 15 years and a website design of the same age.

Here are the new entries of just the past eight days:

Click here

By the way, even many Englisch speaking folks use eddh.de, since there is no English-language equivalent to it. Some users of the flyer forum often refer to it.

Translating works reasonably well, too:

Click here
Last Edited by boscomantico at 20 May 16:24
Frankfurt (EDFE, EDFZ), Germany

Of course it’s up to Achim if he would like to add an airport database to the autorouter but my view would be that since that tool is usable only by IFR pilots, the vast majority of GA pilots would be excluded, and more importantly would not contribute.

People can even be reminded with an automated email to get feedback on less often visited airports (because you know who have visited them).

That’s a clever idea Like feedback on Amazon.

If there is little information about an airport, that’s usually a sign that you shouldn’t fly there ;-)

I would not agree. Humans are normally very willing to slag off some place or some person Airports with little or no feedback are probably just not visited much, or visited by “international flyers” who have been there, done it, got the t-shirt, and don’t bother to write about it. I know a lot of pilots like that. You meet them and the conversation is not about aviation. Unless German GA is radically different from elsewhere (and what I am told by other German pilots suggests that it isn’t) most people fly repeatedly to well known places and reluctantly go far, and very few fly to another country.

Perhaps another issue is that access to information is a moving target, and improves as the years go by. In 2000 there was no usable AIP and almost no airport was on email; it was phone (which as today often needs local language) or fax! What email addresses were published mostly didn’t work (because the admin was sloppy and anyway only anoraks used email). In 2005 I was at the aeroclub in Guernsey and right next to me somebody turned on a dusty PC and discovered about 5000 emails in their POP box! Even since 5 years ago there has been a big change in the use of email. This afternoon I emailed Dresden and (been out for a few hours) got back to 3 replies, with everything including the ATCO’s trouser (or skirt?) measurements. And this is current information, with prices etc.

And a key Q: how many pilots would base a planned flight purely on a pilot-contributed database? Maybe stuff like views on nearby hotels, but you have booking.com or airB&B for those. For real info you have to contact the airport directly – especially if flying internationally (Customs PNR etc).

Almost nobody is buying the airport guides like (IIRC) the old French Delage (sp?) one. I had one years ago and it was just a very glossy collection of basic airport info and loads of hotel etc details which the establishments obviously paid for, and what about those who didn’t want to pay?

Sorry to sound negative but I think times have changed.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Critical mass is everything and unfortunately the best product by far in Europe is www.eddh.de which is German only. A pity.

If something international evolves, I would be more than happy to integrate it but I don’t think autorouter is the right place to start it for the reasons given.

German only. A pity.

You know, I’m not sure. I thought so too for quite some time, but changed my mind.

The fact that there is something like that in German but not in English tells a lot about the flying community in Europe and its habits. Germans tend to tour a lot. No other pilot population tours that that much.

Also, all these people are German-speaking:
Germans
Austrians
a big part of the Swiss
people from South Tyrol
many Danish
many Dutch
etc.

If you add these up, you get a multiple of the pilots from UK and Ireland. (Sure, the Dutch and the Scandinavian are usually for fluent in English as well, but most people from the south of Europe are not).

Frankfurt (EDFE, EDFZ), Germany

Online searching gets you the key info quickly. Usually a google on e.g.

LFBZ AIP

gets you the AIP in one of the first two hits.

I don’t think a “PIREP database” works because

  • a very small % of GA travels
  • few people are willing to input data into it
  • GA is divided culturally (language mainly)
  • the stuff goes out of date
  • most people look for price info which varies sharply according to whether you managed to avoid handling etc
  • ultimately you must refer to the AIP anyway
  • AIPs are getting better all the time
Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Is this one
https://www.you-fly.com/airport/
any good?

Another pilot sent it to me today.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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