It’s six weeks since air traffic pretty much disappeared from our skies and whichever flight tracking app you might use, you’re not seeing much on it any more. For our air traffic controllers, it’s now like working a permanent night shift, bumping along at around 10% of normal traffic levels. Many of our controllers have been furloughed though, as key workers, it is important we rotate them through the operation and that we have an on-call shift in reserve at all times, to maintain resilience. And to be ready for a restart, whenever and however that might happen.
We created a data visualisation to play at US 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.
Following the success of our two data visualisations – Europe 24 and North Atlantic Skies – we’ve taken a lot of time to think about where to go next. We are therefore very excited to publish UK 24 – your guided tour to some of what makes UK aviation work.
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.