The choreography which goes undetected: 24 Hours Of European Air Traffic

On a typical day in the month of June, an estimated 30,000 flights criss-cross over Europe’s airspace, by using time lapse technology, NATS, the main air navigation service provider in the United Kingdom, has made it possible to watch what that looks like in just under two minutes.

In order to make the video, NATS amalgamated two data sources, UK radar data from 21 June 2013 and European flight plan information from 28 July 2013, to create 24 hours of a typical summers day.

In speaking about their creation, and why it is so important to the aviation industry, Paul Beauchamp, senior press officer for NATS said;

‘‘Why do I need to know about air traffic control as long as it gets me where I need to go?’ might be the argument. But, that ignores one very important point. Airspace might be the invisible infrastructure, but it is every bit as important as the road, rail and utility networks we all rely on everyday. It is the lifeblood of our island economy, connecting the UK to the rest of the world.’

Take a look at  NATS mind blowing statistics on airspace below: 

Vital statistics:

– On a typical July day there are around 30,000 flights across European airspace

– Approximately a quarter fly within UK controlled airspace

– The total distance flown by these aircraft is 25 million nautical miles

– That’s 998 times around the Earth

– Or 104 trips to the Moon

– On 21 June, 5,675 aircraft departed or arrived from UK airports, of which…

– 2,295 departed from or arrived at Gatwick (894) or Heathrow (1,401)

– 1,532 were overflights

– The video is 1440x faster than real time