An animated map shows more than 202,000 flights around the globe on one of aviation’s busiest days in history.
The eye-popping visual was released by the Swedish flight monitoring service FlightRadar24 and shows 202,157 aircraft filling the skies across the world on Friday 29 June.
FlightRadar24 confirmed it was the first time it had tracked more than 200,000 flights in a single day and that during a peak period over 19,000 flights were in the air at the same time.
The lowest number of flights recorded by FlightRadar24 is usually on 25 December, one of the quietest days of the year for air traffic.
The company is unable to say if 29 June was the busiest flight day in aviation history, simply that it had the most flights recorded on a single day since the company began in 2006.
FlightRadar24 tracks all aircraft with a transponder, ranging from small aircraft to large commercial jets.
Jamie Hutchison, director of the National Air Traffic Service (NATS) control base in Swanwick, said last summer that “the ageing design of UK airspace means we will soon reach the limits of what can be managed without delays rising significantly.”
Hutchison told Sky News that the UK’s airspace “was never designed to accommodate the levels of traffic we’re seeing today.”
A UK strategy published by the Department for Transport last year entitled ‘Beyond the Horizon: The Future of UK Aviation’ noted that the number of passengers flying from and to UK airports has increased by 27 per cent since 2010. Manchester, Gatwick, Luton, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Glasgow and London City have all experienced growth in excess of 35 per cent since 2010.
The same report warns that if airspace remains unchanged, delays to flights could be 50 times worse in 2030 than they were in 2015.