November 20, 2014

Video: Mesmerizing Display of 6,000 Flights in UK Airspace

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Written by: Phil Derner Jr.
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It is no secret that the skies above us are filled with aircraft, and that over the last 10 decades of commercial air travel, the “big blue sky” is not as big as it used to be.

The only thing more amazing than how much we have been able to fill the skies, is how much we are able to manage those aircraft’s movements to ensure a safe operation. As the amount of flights in the air increases, it is impressive to see that aviation continues to become safer every day. Companies like National Air Traffic Services (NATS) nurture the skies over the UK and their thousands of daily flights. As the video below shows, this includes not only a ton of airline traffic, but accommodating military training requirements and general aviation operations and more in the nooks and crannies of region. NATS produced the following new video, which gives you a tour of their complex and terribly beautiful airspace.

Considering that not too many air traffic organizations (government nor private) make videos such as these, we asked NATS what their motivation was for doing so. Matt Mills, Head of Digital Communications, said “We’ve made data visualizations in the past, but we wanted to now take people on a deeper journey into what makes UK airspace work and some of its important features. Airspace might be the invisible infrastructure, but it is every bit as important as the airports and runways on the ground.”

Equally interesting is their next video, which shows UK airspace on a typical summer’s day, showing you the times of lulls and when their controllers are really pushing a lot of tin.

You can read more about these particular videos in the NATS Blog post here.

About the Author

Phil Derner Jr.
Phil Derner founded NYCAviation in 2003. A lifetime aviation enthusiast that grew up across the water from La Guardia Airport, Phil has aviation experience as a Loadmaster, Operations Controller and Flight Dispatcher. He owns and operates NYCAviation and performs duties as an aviation expert through writing, consulting, public speaking and media appearances. You can reach him by email or follow him on Twitter.



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  • Yanet Diaz

    Hi Phil, thank you very much for this website!! I teach Aviation English and I use many of your resources for my lessons with my student pilots. Btw, I’m from Santiago, Chile 🙂

  • Yanet Diaz

    Hi Phil, thank you very much for this website!! I teach Aviation English and I use many of your resources for my lessons with my student pilots. Btw, I’m from Santiago, Chile 🙂