Did you know? A super highway in the sky actually exists

Did you know? A super highway in the sky actually exists

TORONTO — Traffic jams can happen anywhere, even in the air. Lucky for us, there’s a 10-lane highway over the north Atlantic Ocean that keeps flights from flying too close to one another.

According to SPLOID, a huge portion of any transatlantic flight has no RADAR (yikes!). As Wendover Productions explains, RADAR only extends about 250 miles from land, which means all flights taking the shortest route over the Atlantic must rely on an air traffic control centre in Gander, Newfoundland to direct their way.

The night before, airlines send Gander a list of which flights will take this ‘super sky highway’, which is actually called the North Atlantic Tracks. Once nearby, pilots request a flight path from one of 10 designated lanes (each lane begins and ends at named waypoints). The pilot is then told by Gander which point to head towards, then programs the ending waypoint into autopilot. The rest, as they say, is smooth sailing.

So let’s give a shoutout to Gander (Go Canada!), who’s tasked with the stressful task of keeping hundreds of planes in check while crossing the Atlantic, all the while ensuring that they’re at least 140 miles apart. Thank you, Gander!