WATCH: The drastic change in America's airspace on 9/11/01

NASA created an animation from air traffic control data

September 11, 2019

(KNOU) — Many of us recollect images of the Twin Towers falling when the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, come to mind.

However, by compiling air traffic control data from the Federal Aviation Administration, NASA has provided another visual perspective of the events of that fateful morning.

The animation shows a map of flights in U.S. airspace. A typical day in U.S. airspace can be observed at first. The video then shows how weather impacts flights. 

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At timestamp 3:40, the airspace on Sept. 11, 2001, can be seen. Business appears as usual at first, however, within three hours, the FAA made an unprecedented decision to close all U.S. airspace. 

The video describes all air traffic was shut down in America for two days following. Changes to U.S. airspace are challenging for the system to recover from, the video notes, pointing out it took weeks after 9/11 to resume normal airspace.

The animation closes out by giving an alternate look at the airspace on a typical day. 

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