In Depth

A day in the life of UK air traffic - video

New visualisation shows the 6,000 flights that pass through British airspace on an average day

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A new 3D visualisation created by British air traffic controllers reveals the complex web of flight paths criss-crossing the UK on a typical day.

The visualisation, created by air traffic services provider NATS Holdings, shows 6,000 flights taking off and landing at airports around the UK, as well as those simply flying through British airspace.

The day begins with a phalanx of flights arriving from the United States. These are soon joined by early morning arrivals from mainland Europe. Shortly afterwards, the first flights from the UK take off. Soon the major arterial routes are a blur of activity, as traffic increases around the country with a mass of flights arriving in London, Manchester and central Scotland.

On a typical day 3,500 flights land in London's five major airports, Heathrow, Gatwick, London City, Stansted and Luton.

The video also shows military training flights over the east coast and in the north of the country, and helicopter flights from Aberdeen to the oil and gas platforms in the North Sea.

According to NATS Holdings, 2.2 million flights pass through UK airspace each year, which peaks at 8,000 a day during the busiest periods.

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