Friday, April 10, 2020

Mapping the Empty Skies

When I sit in my garden in East London I can normally see three or four planes circling London in the  holding stacks used by flights coming into land at Heathrow. I haven't seen a plane in at least a week. And I'm not the only one. Flights across Europe (and the rest of the world) have become a very rare occurrence.

According to Eurocontrol there has been a an 88% fall in the number of flights in Europe this year compared to the same period last year. This fall is dramatically visualized using two side-by-side animated maps. The Number of Airborne Flights in ECAC interactive map animates the daily flight traffic over Europe on Sunday 31st March 2019 and on Sunday 29th March this year. The huge fall in air traffic is clearly visible when comparing the two maps using the handy slide control.

You can explore the fall in air traffic across the world for yourself on Flightradar24. The Flightradar24 interactive map shows the live position of planes in real-time. At the time of writing it shows that flight number CA847 from Shaghai will be passing over London in about five minutes. So if you'll excuse me I just need to pop outside so I can see my first plane of the week.

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