Storage airports are a big draw for enthusiasts, giving them the chance to catch up with airliners before they meet the scrapman, or as they rest in between jobs. Quite often they’re stored a long way from their home, giving the spotter something unusual to see without travelling so far.
When you think of storage airports, chances are you’ll think of those in Arizona, California and New Mexico, where the desert keeps airliners in good condition. But in the UK we have a number of airports where you can go see stored airliners. Here are the top 6:
1. Kemble, Gloucestershire (Map)
Kemble has recently rebranded itself as Cotswold Airport, in honour of the area of natural beauty in which it resides. It’s located in south-west England, around 2 hours drive from London. Here you’ll find a steady stream of airliners coming to be scrapped, from B737 and A320 to B747. It is also a base for Lufthansa Technik, who deal with a lot of BAe 146/Avro RJ aircraft.
2. Lasham, Hampshire (Map)
Mainly a rework centre, where airliners come to get new identities, Lasham is nevertheless a place where you can often find B727, B737, B757 and A320 airliners in open storage. It is around 30 mins drive from London, and not far from Farnborough.
3. Bruntingthorpe, Leicestershire (Map)
Home to the famous Cold War Jets Collection, including a DH Comet and Victor. Bruntinthorpe is also a place where airliners are scrapped. Recent examples include RAF VC-10’s and KLM B737s.
4. Cardiff, Wales (Map)
Cardiff Airport in southern Wales is a storage and maintenance base for British Airways. Recently, members of their B747-400 fleet have been stored here, and even scrapped.
5. Exeter, Devon (Map)
Near the south-west coast of England, Exeter is a small regional airport and home to Flybe. It is a place where aircraft are stored and maintained between operators – particularly those leaving the Flybe fleet, such as BAe 146, EMB-145 and DHC-8 aircraft. There are also some used as fire trainers.
6. London Southend (Map)
One of the fastest growing airports thanks to its new terminal and routes, London Southend is also a busy place for aircraft maintenance and storage. You’ll see a lot of B737 and A320 aircraft getting new identities, and BAe146/Avro RJ aircraft in storage.