There’s an aerial express lane 100 miles wide stretching above the Atlantic, where more than a thousand planes crisscross the jet stream’s 150 mph winds. Spotty radar coverage over the ocean calls for predetermined routes, creating a consistent traffic pattern. Here’s the resulting skyway—which can shave an hour off a trip from North America to Europe—and the rest of the 125,798 flight paths blazed every night.
This article was originally published in the Spring 2019 Transportation issue of Popular Science.
Sara Chodoshis an associate editor at PopSci where she writes about everything from vaccine hesitancy to extreme animal sex. She got her master's degree in science journalism at NYU's Science Health and Environmental Reporting Program, and is getting a second master's in data visualization from the University of Girona. Contact the author here.