British airspace is today set to handle more flights in a single day than ever before, with 8,800 planes due to take off or land in a single day.
Footage generated from air traffic data shows how the huge volume of planes interact over mainland UK and Ireland.
Coloured lines show planes leaving, entering and moving within UK airspace, with loops from flight holding patterns showing major hubs like Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Manchester airports.
The new figure, from the UK’s air traffic monitor, NATS, will top a previous record set earlier this summer, and is expected to stand in place for at least a year.
2017 is the first year since the financial crash that flight volumes over the UK exceeded the previous record, from 2007.
— NATS (@NATS) July 21, 2017
Data from the UK’s National Air Traffic Services (NATS) predicted 8,800 flights on 21 July 2017, beating an interim 8,747 record set on 30 June, thanks in part to summer holiday traffic.
Services to destinations like Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia — all victims of terror attacks in recent years — have declined, but an increase in flights to Spain, Italy and the US has more than compensated.
As a result the 2017 summer period as a whole — June, July and August —is set for a total of 770,000 flights, also a record.
However, NATS said under current arrangements British airspace is approaching its limit, and said a more modern approach is necessary to sustain continued growth in flight numbers.
Video produced by David Ibekwe