It was recently reported that around two million passengers board over 30,000 flights every day in the US. In the daytime, around 60,000 people fly over the country every hour.

Chicago O’Hare International is the busiest airport in the world and at peak times lands or clears an aircraft for take-off every 37 seconds. These and many other reasons make aviation, and in particular the Air Traffic Management industry in the US incredibly interesting to us at NATS. Indeed we share a number of similar challenges and opportunities with our airports and airspace in the UK.

We have been discussing these issues (and others) with our American counter-parts during the recent NATCA (National Air Traffic Controllers Association) Safety Conference in Las Vegas, and the IATA Ops Conference in Los Angeles.  In the near future we will also be at the 60th ATCA Annual Conference and Exposition in Washington.

As well as demonstrating future controller technologies and cutting edge visualisation techniques, we created a video to play at such events – USA 24. This is similar to our award-winning Europe 24 and UK 24 – this time showing air traffic patterns over the USA and highlighting the busiest airports.

We made this visualisation in partnership with US based aviation data company FlightAware, the largest flight tracking data aggregator in the world in terms of the number of disparate data feeds they consume. It has gone down really well with delegates at events in the US and we have received many requests to share it online so people can view it again at their leisure or download it to share with others.

We thought it was a good idea – so it is now available on Vimeo and YouTube. We hope you enjoy it. If you are attending a US based event, which we are at, please come and say hello and take a look at some of our other visualisations and innovative technologies such as the intelligent approach tools being used with great success at Heathrow.


Please respect our commenting policy and guidelines when posting on this website.

Leave a Reply



Lenard Carter

I really like the air traffic visualization!! Best I seen thus far!!




Why show the U.S. only during the middle of the night?


The times are UTC and we tried to show different periods over a day.



Christopher Wills

Fascinating. Watch the Chicago bit at the start and you will see an aircraft that is either a helicopter that lands or an aircraft that crashes into the lake. there are other anomolies like south of San Fransisco aircraft seem to disappear into the sea. The skies are an amazing place.



Ed Dougherty

Terrific blend of data, skills, passions and a keen eye for effective aesthetics. Very engaging and lots of fun. Thank you for your efforts. While here, a shout-out to the visualization piece (very similar) that the New York Times put together to illustrate the flow and current patterns to help explain how that wing part on the doomed Malaysian airliner could bob in the ocean for over a year and wind up on a beach 3,000 miles away, and fall within plausible prediction indicators. Similarly engaging. Well done here!



Shaun Jones

That was really cool! Its funny to see only about 10 flights go through my city the entire video…lol…tiny airport.



Ulia Krukova

Nats – hard nut safety in the sky



Akshay S

This is fantastic! Is there any chance there were stills saved from this? It’d be a dandy of a wallpaper!

Thanks, Akshay! We have some here on our Flickr page: but nothing from USA 24 I’m afraid. I’ll see if we can get some uploaded for you.


Please start typing and we will search our website for you.

Search Results