Signs recently erected at the north side Stansted Business Park at London Stansted Airport have caused a stir among the aviation enthusiast community as they indicate that spotters are no longer welcome in the area.
This part of the airport – a long way from the passenger terminal – is where the various FBOs (Fixed Base Operators) and hangars are to be found, and where the biz jets from all over the world visiting the airport are usually parked.
While spotters generally understood that loitering or parking in the area was not acceptable, a quick drive or walk around would usually be enough to note down and (maybe) photograph a lot of the resident aircraft, before moving on.
Now, Stansted Plane Watch and Essex Police have confirmed that:
“As part of ongoing measures to ensure the security of the airport, the Risk Advisory Group at Stansted Airport has reviewed public access to the Stansted Business Park and has made the decision to allow access to the Park for professional reasons only, removing public access for leisure pursuits.
“As a result, the viewing of aircraft from within Stansted Business Park will no longer be possible. Aviation enthusiasts will be prohibited from viewing and photography of aircraft from within the business park and may be subject of a fine under the airport bye-laws if they are caught contravening the bye-laws.”
This is sad news and will mean logging those aircraft becomes very difficult as few other locations offer views. Spotters will be required to wait until the aircraft land or depart in order to see them from the Belmer Road viewing location or one of the spotting hotels.
The information given continues: “The presence of enthusiasts/spotters at Stansted is still welcome and it is acknowledged that those engaged in photography, viewing and recording aircraft details provide an informal level of security. Such people are therefore encouraged to pursue their hobby along the perimeter fence adjacent to the Belmar Road area of the airport which provides a very good view of the runway.”
What are your thoughts on this news? Will it affect your spotting at Stansted?