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The Traveller's Magazine
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The video Europe 24 is a remarkable journey across the continent through its airspace. Blue lines light up the night sky as planes criss-cross, land and take off again. Here’s the latest project from NATS which looks more like a choreographed dance than a data visualisation.

European airspace is busy and complex, more than any other part of the world. Thousands of flights take-off and land every day, carrying millions of passengers to and fro. In London, we almost constantly can hear planes in the distance, touching down at any of the five nearby airports. We seldom look up but little do we know, a most complex piece of choreography is taking place in the skies above.

Take a look at this!

The data visualisation of Air Traffic in Europe was created using real flight data, incredible right? NATS set out to show that while airspace is in fact an invisible infrastructure, it’s just as important as any road or rail network. More than that, it connects the UK to the rest of the world!

Did you know…

  • On a typical summer’s day, around 30,000 flights travel across European airspace.
  • A quarter of those fly within UK airspace.
  • Put all those flights together and you get 25 million nautical miles which is equivalent to 998 times around the Earth… or 104 trips to the moon.
  • This visualisation documents one single day, June 21st, 2013. On that day an impressive 1,401 flights departed and arrived at Heathrow and 894 at Gatwick.

As NATS says,

We hope you enjoy it and that is acts as a small reminder of the incredible work air traffic controllers, working with pilots and ground crew, do every single day.

Now there’s something to think about the next time you board a flight from London.

Img: video screenshot

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