Geo Week News

October 31, 2017

What happens when a drone approaches an airport


As fervor for all things unmanned continues to grow, the risk of a drone collision with an airplane becomes greater. Some believe that the fallout from such a collision could be, well, pretty bad. That explains why Gatwick suspended use of its runways for a total of 14 minutes on July 2nd when a drone flew into its restricted airspace.

But you might have trouble grasping the extent of the disruption that the drone caused just by showing up. At least, I did. Whether you’re like me or not, you’ll love this weirdly hypnotic video generated by /NATS/ (formerly National Air Traffic Service) showing the positions and flight paths of airplanes during the disturbance.

Watch the effects on the clockwork-tight schedules at an international airport as a number of planes come in for landing on a suspended runway. Enjoy the b-rate corporate Muzak version of Chris Isaac’s “Wicked Game.”

For good measure, compare the drone disruption this visualization of a day with bad weather.


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