Did you know there are some free bus services around London Heathrow that are ideal for spotters moving around the various perimeter locations?
Bus service between Hatton Cross and Terminal 5 are:
423 via northern perimeter road, Bath Road and Longford village.
441 between Central area and Terminal 5 via northern perimeter road
482 and 490 via Terminal 4 and cargo along southern perimeter road.
All of these buses are free between Hatton Cross and the terminals. They will help you travel between spotting locations at Runways 27L, 27R and 09L for viewing when runways change.
Today I’m pleased to announce that my new book is available for purchase!
Airport Spotting Guides Europe is published by Destinworld Publishing Ltd and available from Amazon, Borders etc. as well as many specialist aviation shops.
Here’s a link
The book covers Europe’s best airports for spotting.
It has a map for each, and lists the best official and unofficial spotting locations, and how to get to them.
It also has lists of airlines, stored/wrecked/preserved aircraft, frequencies, runway information, plus recommended hotels with views over the airport.
For the spotter and photographer who likes to travel to view aircraft, this book is indispensable.
Have a look here
The viewing decks at Zurich will now close on 1 November for building work.
The deck on Pier E will re-open in January 2009.
Thanks to Thomas Jaeger for the information.
Why not purchase Airport Spotting Guides Europe to find out alternative spotting locations at Zurich?
After all the speculation, Gatwick has finally been put up for sale by the BAA. The price tag is estimated at £1.8bn.
BBC News story about the sale:
With BAA out of the picture, might the new owner (which could be Fraport or Manchester’s owners) provide facilities for spotters once again?
Virgin Atlantic are also interested in buying Gatwick as part of a consortium.
Keflavik is the main international gateway airport to Iceland. It is the base of Icelandair.
Other carriers you’ll see here include:
Iceland Express (Hello)
The airport covers a vast area, being a former US air base. It has two runways, and a number of smaller remote aprons and hangars where the military operations used to happen. These are still sometimes used by biz jet and troop flights, and other operations.
The airport has one passenger terminal, with a long pier extending into the apron. Before going into the building, at departures level you can see the apron at either side of the entrances and get an overview of most aircraft parked there.
Once through security, you will have free reign of the pier, and can log most aircraft easily. You can see across to the runways from the end of the pier. The cargo apron is also visible alongside.
Traffic can be a little slow. You’ll find that the Icelandair flights all come in together 2 or 3 times a day, connecting European and North American flights together.
To see aircraft on remote aprons, a car is recommended due to the large area. You may also be able to get some landing shots at the end of the runway in use.
Following on from my recent post about the BAe ATP aircraft stored at Woodford, near Manchester, I can now sadly report that they have all been scrapped. Even the prototype aircraft has met this fate.
There is still one ATP forward section present, however, and a similar section of a BAe 146 aircraft. The Vulcan is also reportedly still present.
On honeymoon in Iceland recently, I had the pleasure of visiting Reykjavik’s downtown airport, which is used extensively for domestic flights, biz jets, deliveries and fuel stops, flying schools, and Coast Guard flights.
The airport is quite small and compact, with small runways. It is literally over the road from the city centre. When a plane lands or departs, the rest of the town generally knows about it!
I had been expecting it to be a little busier, but nevertheless I still got a good mix of t
ypes, with biz from across Europe and North America. I saw the whole fleet of Flugfelag Islands (Air Iceland) over two days. I also saw the preserved DC-3 TF-NPK in Icelandair colours.
To make sure you cover everything possible, take a walk around the perimeter on the eastern side, towards the beach. This will uncover a few hidden ramps of light aircraft. Also take a walk north of the passenger terminal to see what’s parked outside the other light aircraft hangars. Walking around will also ensure you can see everything parked on the passenger ramp, and the eastern ramp where biz and other aircraft park.
I was fortunate enough to stay in the Icelandair Loftleidir Hotel which is next to the control tower on the eastern perimeter. I had a room which overlooks both main ramps, and all of the runways. I didn’t miss any movements, even at night. Photographs are also possible from your room.
Chateuroux is a small airport in France, an hour or so south of Paris. It has very little flight activity, with just a regional link to the capital of note.
However, the airport has become synonymous with airliner storage and nearly always has a few widebodies put out to pasture, ready for scrapping or eventual return to service.
The reason I mention Chateauroux now is that I just saw a log of what is currently stored there and was quite surprised! The log includes:
VP-BIB 747-200F Air Bridge Cargo
I-OCEU 747-200F Ocean Airlines
EC-JFR 747-200 Air Pullmantur
SX-FIN 747-200 Sky Express
F-GTOM 747SP Corsair
F-BTDE DC-10-30 AOM/Cubana
A nice bunch if you need them! Most aircraft can be seen quite easily by driving around the airfield and terminal area. Some photographs are possible.
I’m back from honeymoon now. Before I move on to details of spotting in Iceland and Copenhagen (stay tuned!), I’ll simply write this note I received about spotting at Rand airfield in South Africa – a very popular side-trip for spotters in the Johannesburg area.
Spotters are usually permitted to take an airside tour of the hangars and parked aircraft, escorted by the fire department at the airfield. You simply have to turn up at the Airport Manager’s office (ask at the Information Desk), sign a form, and they’ll organise it if possible that day.
I also got told that the Academy B&B nearby gives guests a key for the gate onto the apron and a token to get you through security. This seems a little unbelievable, so please let us know if you’ve found it to be true!
Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 14-08-2008
Just a little note to let you know there will be no posts for another week as I am away on honeymoon.
Expect an Iceland trip report once I’m back!