A stunning video created by the UK air traffic controller NATS (the National Air Traffic Services) shows the thousands of aircraft that fly over the North Atlantic over the course of 24 hours.
The Daily Mail reports that between two and three thousand aircraft fly between Canada, the United States and Europe every day. The visualization tracked the complex movements of these flights in a 24 hour period in August of last year.
NATS spokesman Paul Beauchamp said: "Airspace is an incredibly valuable asset – just as important as the railroad and utility networks that everyone relies on everyday.
"However, most people aren’t aware of the work that goes into managing and safely guiding aircraft through our skies.
"That’s why we created this visualization to highlight the complexity of that work, the skill of our air traffic controllers and the UK’s strategic importance as the aviation gateway to Europe and North America."
Read more travel stories here.
The animation was created by data visualization experts 422 South, who combined the 24 hour flight radar data from all UK flights on one of the busiest days of last year with flight schedules and routing information for the rest of Europe and reaching out into the North Atlantic. Using specially developed programs, computer artists converted the longitude, latitude and height data into luminous dots, which were positioned over satellite images of Britain and mainland Europe, by day and by night, the Daily Mail reports.
Said Beauchamp: "European airspace is some of the busiest and most complex anywhere in the world. Every day thousands of air traffic controllers guide millions of passengers safely to their destinations.
"Yet to most people, the choreography going on above them is entirely unnoticed - it quite literally goes over their heads. Some might say that is how it should be.
"But, that ignores one very important point. Getting it right matters and we all have a stake in it."
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