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Watch This: 24 Hours of European Air Traffic

March 20, 2014 at 2:19 PM | by | ()

We do these visualizations from time to time - partly because they're awesome and partly because you guys seem to enjoy them - plus the last week and a half of airline news has been a real downer. We can all use a reminder that there's something kind of magic about how we move millions of people through the air every day.

Wired recently wrote up an explanation for this video, which shows the roughly 30,000 flights that "criss-cross Europe's airspace on a typical summer day." The UK-based data comes from June 21 of last year, while the tracks for the rest of Europe were compiled on July 28. As the day begins and progresses you see the early trans-Atlantic traffic merge in with the traffic coming from the south, and then the major hubs on the Continent begin to light up. Look how shiny!

From there the video zooms into the UK and you see the planes circling around the major airports as they make their descents.

The video was put together by Britain's NATS, the country's top provider of air traffic control. They brag on their website that "each year [they] handle 2.2 million flights and 220 million passengers in UK airspace." It seems hopelessly complex, and quite frankly - not to bring this post - it's a wonder there aren't more planes that go missing.

The NATS blog is here, and it seems to get updated once a week. On that note you can consider yourselves fully briefed on the organization and the video, so click:

[Photo: NATS / Vimeo]

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