- More than 225,000 flights were recorded on Wednesday, July 24 — more than ever recorded on a single day, according to flight-tracking service Flightradar24.
- While that can partly be attributed to increasingly comprehensive global tracking, air traffic is on a steady increase overall.
- The figure excludes certain sensitive air traffic, including most military flights, so the number is actually likely higher.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
More than 225,000 flights took to the skies on Wednesday July 24, more than ever recorded before.
Flightradar24, a real-time air-traffic-tracking service, tweeted that this was the first time since it began monitoring flights that it had tracked that many aircraft.
The figure represents virtually every trackable aircraft in the world that flew on Wednesday between midnight and 11:59 p.m. UTC, according to Ian Petchenik, who manages media and community relations for the company.
That includes everything from cargo planes and commercial passenger flights to helicopters, private jets, gliders, sight-seeing flights, personal aircraft, and more.
Flightradar24 tracks flights by receiving combining data from several publicly available sources, including ADS-B transponder signals from aircraft, MLAT transponder calculation, and radar data. The tracking coverage — and consequently the 225,000 figure — excludes certain sensitive air traffic including most military flights.
While it’s theoretically possible that there have been days with more aircraft before Flightradar24 began tracking flights and recording data in 2006, said Petchenik, it seems unlikely since the number of aircraft active around the world has continuously increased. He also said that while an increase in total planes in the air is the main driver of the record-breaking figure, the fact that a higher proportion of aircraft are adopting ADS-B than ever before likely played a role as well.
It’s likely that the record will be broken at least a few more times this year, Petchenik said, including possibly this week. Late July and early August are typically the busiest periods for air traffic.
One thing the 225,000 figure didn’t indicate: the amount of passengers or freight moved or the total distance flown.
Some Twitter users criticized increasing air travel as damaging to the environment and contributing to climate change. Commercial air travel accounts for 2-3% of man-made carbon emissions.
- Boeing says it could suspend 737 Max production if grounding continues, putting tens of thousands of jobs at risk
- A flight attendant had to get 5 stitches after an emotional-support dog bit him as he tried to help a passenger
- JetBlue is putting the brakes on its rollout of new cabin seats thanks to a series of delays from Airbus