Are Some military A/C Blocked?

#1
Last month I was getting many military A/C showing, EG: USAF Reach(RCH) Flts,French AF Tankers,RAF C17 & C130s (RRR),then they disapeared. it seemed to happen after all my Filters were deleted after presumable a programme auto update.
Q1 Are certain Air Forces blocked?
Q2 Is there a Limit to the number of Airlines/Aircraft that can be entered in filters?

Assistance please,
Horty 652
 

Mark Daniels

Administrator
Staff member
#2
Hi Horty 652,

Sorry about the filters disappearing. We did make some changes to those on the site so it does sound like that we might have been the cause.

We do block military aircraft as we become aware of them.
No limit on the filtering - as far as we know!

Best regards,
Mark
 
#3
Hi Horty 652,

Sorry about the filters disappearing. We did make some changes to those on the site so it does sound like that we might have been the cause.

We do block military aircraft as we become aware of them.
No limit on the filtering - as far as we know!

Best regards,
Mark
Is blocking a legal requirement? as being able to track them was the main reason for my use of planefinder
 
#4
I agree with Horty 652. One of the reasons I came to PlaneFinder was the ability to see military aircraft in transit.

As far as I can ascertain there is no legal requirement to enforce a block on displaying military aircraft on these private tracking systems as there is little or no security risk.
After all, those civilian aircraft that do not want to be identified can and do put BLOCKED on their equipment so as not to display their call sign or radio ID and so do the military.

There was an article published by the Daily Mail (a paper that suffers from paranoia with a capital "P") about the Duke of Cambridgeshire's Air Ambulance helicopter being tracked. A none story really (and typical of the Mail) as anyone with harmful intent towards the heir to the throne would not rely on a piece of tracking software.

As one who has taken a free receiver from PlaneFinder to enhance the coverage across the UK, surely it would be possible to allow those who have gone to the effort of placing an antenna on their roof and having the device on 24/7 , the ability to display military types on their pc's etc. Easy to monitor, known individuals and enjoyment all around.

I await comments

regards


Bernard
 

Mark Daniels

Administrator
Staff member
#5
Hi Guys,

There is currently no legal requirement but as a business we believe that we must operate responsibly.

As an example we have very recently been approached by the UK Coastguard to remove a number of their aircraft from public tracking.
They gave us clear operational and security reasons for asking us to do this.
We are not going to respond negatively to official requests like this - so these aircraft are now blocked.

Operators have to approach us in this way.
They cannot put blocked into their systems and have them disappear from tracking like ours - it is down to individual providers to choose whether to display or not.

Red Baron has a system that does provide additional data not available for public view.
Any questions please contact me directly on this.

Best Regards,

Mark
 
#6
Hi Mark,

I am a radio scanner enthusiast, and while I enjoy monitoring public safety and transportation related traffic, my main focus (and most enjoyment) comes from ATC and airborne traffic, and military traffic is a big part of that.

While I find Plane Finder highly useful and entertaining, I am disappointed that the powers that be there have chosen to block non-combat military aircraft. I can understand and fully support the wishes of operators that come to you and ask that you block tracking of their aircraft. There are certainly valid reasons for making such requests, and I can respect that. However, I don't feel that a blanket policy to block tracking of any/all military aircraft *just because they are military* is the best approach to take. For mil aircraft in a combat theater or in tactical situations that would be a no-brainier. My feeling is, to unilaterally choose to block mil traffic "just because" is not necessarily being responsible, but in doing so you are actually doing a disservice to your (paying) customer base interested in all manners of air traffic.

When an operator comes to you and asks you to mask their aircraft, by all mean I support that. I would like to respectfully request that you and any/all decision makers there at pinkfroot limited reconsider your current practice of blocking *all* military aircraft. I believe a *remove on request by operator* approach would better serve your customers and at the same time satisfy the operators of such aircraft.

I would also like to hear what other Plane Finder users feel about this topic.

Sincerely,

Jay
 
#7
The debate would be best served by asking who would gain from the information shown on PlaneFinder.

Anyone can purchase a VHF/UHF receiver that does pick up ALL aircraft, civil and military.
The operational frequencies used by all aircraft are readily available in both hard printed copy and digital formats.
Enthusiast groups also publish comprehensive lists of calls-signs, registrations, airfield locations and as much information as can be handled.
Aviation charts can be bought showing airways etc.

With this wealth of information why shouldn't military aircraft be seen on PlaneFinder?

Is it to protect the military? Ask yourself how many military aircraft have been the subject of terrorist attacks in non-combat environments and outside of theatres of operations.
Ask the same question of civil aircraft and the answer is too many in the open environments of the world. So where is the greater security risk?

I appreciate responsible companies take heed of those operators whose aircraft may be tracked but we do live in a free society. Those intent on creating discord and fear in society can and will find a means to achieve their goals. Using censorship is merely another victory for those who would seek to do us harm.

I can not see why we can not see military aircraft on the PlaneFinder system.

best wishes

Bernard
 
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