The short animation depicts 24 hours of flight data extracted from
one period in July, 2013. Planes launch over the Atlantic from North
America like rockets spewing blue fire; they eventually join a
scrambling hive of activity swirling over Europe's various airports.
Glowing nodules depict especially active hubs near London – like
Heathrow, the busiest international airport on the Continent, and Gatwick, said to be the most efficient single-runway airport in existence.
Just how many flights are typically whizzing over Europe? Including
business aviation and all-cargo journeys, it's about 26,000 flights a
day by 2010 calculations, according to EUROCONTROL.
In the U.K., a big chunk of this volume is handled by the air
traffic-control company NATS, which made this visualization. The workers
at NATS typically handle more than 6,000 flights a day.
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