NATS Airspace Explorer – Flight Tracker

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Have you ever looked up at the sky and wondered where that plane has come from, where it’s going or even how high it is?  This new iPad application from the National Air Traffic Services, reveals everything you could possibly want to know about every plane that is currently in flight around the world (with the obvious exception of top-secret military flights). The app presents all the flights on a fascinatingly detailed interactive map.

Other flight-tracking apps tend to rely on crowd-sourced data from by plane-spotters but NATS Airspace Explorer is the first to use its own advanced radar technology to collate and present all the information about UK airspace. The data from this app even includes controlled military zones, flight paths, altitudes and airways, coming from 23 NATS monitoring stations which cover more than 2.2 million flights and 220 million passengers every year, and that’s just in the UK. Flights outside the UK are available to track as well, but these are tracked using other sources of data which is somewhat less detailed.

By using the 2D map mode, hundreds of planes are revealed above a view of the UK and what’s even more exciting is that all the flight data is live. You can then select a plane to see numerous details about it from Skybrary. If you get lucky on a summer’s day, (especially over the Isle of Wight) you may even spot a vintage aircraft such as a Spitfire. Where this app really comes into its own is the 3D mode, which allows you zoom through the sky and look at the planes around you. The great news is that Android and iPhone versions are due for release soon, so it’ll be available for the majority of your devices to enjoy seamlessly over Wightfibre’s #FastestIW network.

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