openSkies - Integration of Aviation Data into the R Ecosystem

Aviation data has become increasingly more accessible to the public thanks to the adoption of technologies such as Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and Mode S, which provide aircraft information over publicly accessible radio channels. Furthermore, the OpenSky Network provides multiple public resources to access such air traffic data from a large network of ADS-B receivers. Here, we present openSkies, the first R package for processing public air traffic data. The package provides an interface to the OpenSky Network resources, standardized data structures to represent the different entities involved in air traffic data, and functionalities to analyze and visualize such data. Furthermore, the portability of the implemented data structures makes openSkies easily reusable by other packages, therefore laying the foundation of aviation data engineering in R.

Rafael Ayala , Daniel Ayala , Lara Sellés Vidal , David Ruiz

CRAN packages used

openSkies, ggmap

CRAN Task Views implied by cited packages

Spatial, WebTechnologies


Text and figures are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 4.0. The figures that have been reused from other sources don't fall under this license and can be recognized by a note in their caption: "Figure from ...".


For attribution, please cite this work as

Ayala, et al., "The R Journal: openSkies - Integration of Aviation Data into the R Ecosystem", The R Journal, 2021

BibTeX citation

  author = {Ayala, Rafael and Ayala, Daniel and Vidal, Lara Sellés and Ruiz, David},
  title = {The R Journal: openSkies - Integration of Aviation Data into the R Ecosystem},
  journal = {The R Journal},
  year = {2021},
  note = {},
  doi = {10.32614/RJ-2021-095},
  volume = {13},
  issue = {2},
  issn = {2073-4859},
  pages = {590-599}