Every day, thousands of gorgeous light cycles battle in the sky above Heathrow—at least in this video by air traffic-control company NATS, visualizing what 24 hours of flight traffic looks like as it streaks above London.
London, of course, is one of the globe’s most highly trafficked transit hubs. According to the Airports Council International, all of London’s airports combined account for more passengers annually than any other city. That’s over 1.2 million flights every year, or 3,000 flights per day on just six runways, says NATS, who is responsible for providing technology to get all of those planes up and down out of the sky safely.
For the air traffic controllers who oversee those flights, it’s stressful work, but if you overlaid Dark Side of the Moon over NATS’s visual interpretation of all that flight data, you’d be forgiven for mistaking the video above for a Laser Floyd light show. In NATS’s data vis, the congestion above London fades away into a fluorescent ballet of streaking lights smearing neon across the sky.
If you think that’s impressive though, NATS supplies air traffic controller equipment to more than just the U.K. To see what the 26,000 European flights tracked by NATS every day look like over Europe, see our previous post here.