Startups And Tech To Help With Plane Spotting

Plane spotting is a hobby that describes tracking, taking pictures of and watching planes travel. This can range from sitting near airports and watching them take off and land, or simply observing a popular flight path and gathering information about an aircraft.

Here, we look at some of the key tech and startups that are helping people get the most out of plane spotting. But first…


Is Plane Spotting Legal?


Plane spotting is technically legal, as it generally involves just watching or tracking planes take off and land, which is a harmless activity.

However, many question why people would want to take part in the hobby, saying that it can be a sign of suspicious behaviour. As the airline industry is incredibly tight on passenger safety, it’s no surprise that plane spotters are looked on with caution.

According to Airspotting, many airports would actually prefer if plane spotters identified themselves to security first, to assure them that they are not acting suspiciously.

However, there are some countries, according to Airspotting that are hostile to plane spotters. These include: Greece, India, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia. Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. So it’s always worth checking the law of the country you’re plane spotting in, to avoid any repercussions!

The other thing to ensure is that you’re not plane spotting on private property – as this can be classified as trespassing – or on a military base where security is high.

Military bases exist to defend a country, so having members of the public take pictures of their vehicles is likely to be met with resistance.


Tech Used For Plane Spotting


1. High-Powered Binoculars

High-powered binoculars are a staple for any plane spotter.

These devices allow plane spotters to look at aircrafts from a distance. This means they can more easily see planes without having to be too close to airports. High-tech binoculars also come with image enhancing and high magnification, meaning you get a steady view from far away.



2. Mobile Apps

As plane spotting has become more popular, mobile apps are helping people flight track from their phones. These apps use data to show live flight information, allowing users to see exactly which planes are currently in motion. These apps are great because users can point their phones to the sky and identify the plane, meaning they can access the data anytime, anywhere.


3. Digital Cameras

Modern digital cameras, especially those with powerful zoom lenses, are a great way to improve plane spotting sessions.

High-res cameras from brands like Canon, Nikon, and Sony allow spotters to take amazing images of a plane, even from far away. Features like autofocus, burst shooting and image stabilisation mean spotters can take clear photos of planes, even when they are on the move.


Startups For Plane Spotters


Here, we look at some startups that help take plane spotting to the next level.




Flightradar24 is a real-time plane tracking software that taps into a global network to find the latest information. Plane spotters can look at detailed real-time flight data, including where the plane is, what aircraft type it is and what path it is flying on. The app’s interactive map is not only useful for plane spotters, but anyone tracking a plane’s journey.

Flightradar helps people track planes from anywhere in the world, allowing them to enjoy their plane spotting hobby from afar.




Spotter | Save plane photos


Spotter is helping plane spotters organise their plane photos more efficiently. With an easy search feature and ways to organise photos, users can access all their plane photos and information about the aircrafts within them. The app also provides stats on how many planes users have spotted and rewards them with badges, making it more easy and fun to manage plane photos.






JetTip is a plane spotter’s dream as it analyses data and then notifies users about any interesting movements. The app analyses schedules and data to alert users to any interesting or new flights, including rare planes, special flights and more.

This alert helps plane spotters see the rarest and most interesting occurrences, helping supercharge their hobby.


Whilst plane spotting is a growing hobby, it should be done with caution. Ensure you are aware of the laws of the country and avoid trespassing to ensure there are no negative repercussions.

With the growth of tech and accessible tech-driven apps, now more than ever plane spotters have more at their disposal to help them boost their hobby and spot the most interesting aircrafts.