FAA Registration Queries Are Back

October 1, 2021

Nlets has long supported queries to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Aircraft Registration System. These transactions, known as the GQ/GR, are intended to allow law enforcement officers and investigators to look up aircraft data based on the tail number (N-Number), aircraft serial number, or owner name. Unfortunately, in September of 2020, due to changes to the FAA’s website, Nlets method for obtaining this data became unmanageable. 

Because we know that accessing aircraft registration data is important to our users, Nlets has been working hard to find a way to gather the information through other means. We are happy to report that as of Monday, August 30th 2021, Nlets has a new source for the aircraft registration data from the FAA, which will allow for the GQ/GR message keys to be run as they were previously.

Here’s how it works: Every day, Nlets will download a set of informational files from the FAA containing current and historical aircraft registration data and will use those files to create a database as a source for the GQ/GR message keys. Since FAA updates these files daily, this change to a daily download of these files means that Nlets’ users will have access to the most updated information via the transaction.

The actual GQ message format will remain the same, so no programmatic updates will be needed to continue use of this message key. As for the GR, it has only changed in the amount and type of data that will be returned. The incorporation of our new data source means that users will receive different information than that of the original source. Nlets has made the appropriate changes to the text returned via the GR. 

We are excited to bring this message key back online to support our users’ needs.

If you have any questions about the update to the transaction, please contact the Nlets Service Center at servicecenter@nlets.org. For more information about the transactions themselves, please refer to Section 25 of the Nlets Wiki.

You can view an example of the transaction below: