The UK's main provider of air traffic control services, NATS, visualizes beautifully how complex and busy European airspace is.
"Airspace might be the invisible infrastructure, but it is every bit as important as the road, rail and utility networks we all rely on everyday. It is the lifeblood of our island economy, connecting the UK to the rest of the world. Getting it right matters and we all have a stake in it. That’s why we created this data visualization showing a typical summer’s day of air traffic from last year. It’s an amalgamation of two data sources – UK radar data from 21 June and European flight plan information from 28 July – and it clearly highlights the structure of airspace across the continent. A few highlights include the North Atlantic tracks that connect Europe with North America, the airways that run up the spine of the UK, the holding stacks at London’s capacity stretched airports and the military manoeuvres off Anglesey in Wales. We hope you enjoy it and that is acts as a small reminder of the incredible work air traffic controllers, working with pilots and ground crew, do every single day."