Home Airport News London Stansted North Side Out of Bounds

London Stansted North Side Out of Bounds

by Matt Falcus

London Stansted

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.

Stansted North Side

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?





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Paul James February 1, 2019 - 7:29 pm

The northside ban at Stansted is very sad / bad news indeed. Obviously it will affect the quality of spotting at Stansted, as that’s where the interesting stuff parks ! However, I think it’s all too easy to label it as a “security” issue ! (Makes a change from Brexit being used as the scapegoat). I’m sure the real reasons are objections from Harrods and other business units. I do appreciate that VIP’s / corporate passengers pay a lot of money for the FBO services and want their privacy. If airports provided a central, controlled area for all spotters or families to go, then surely that is better/safer for everyone, rather than spotters searching out other vantage points anywhere around the vast perimeter which cannot be patrolled effectively all the time. Germany and many USA airports (surprisingly) still provide “official” viewing areas. Frankfurt probably sets the benchmark of how to do it right ! Some airports still offer airside tours – no security issues there ! Why is the northside at Stansted considered any more vulnerable from a security perspective than say the far end of Belmer Rd by the approach lights ?? Doesn’t make any logical sense to me ! However, I guess we will all have to comply until these rules are relaxed again in this ongoing yo-yo situation ! 😔

John Lambert February 2, 2019 - 7:51 pm

Spotters were allowed into a area by the Harrods fence line but people were going into areas not allowed to chase a reg or graph.Lists and graphs were published which were obviously taken from out of bounds areas which has not helped the work done by Stansted plane watch members to get the limited access to the area mentioned.So a few have spoilt it for for the many who kept to the agreed area.

J V Nicholls July 29, 2019 - 10:44 pm

It’s always ‘the few’ (or over enthusiastic) that spoil things for the responsible majority. But a slight change of thread… I have recently started spotting again after a break of a number of years. I returned to my old favourite spot at the end of Green Street, Gaunts End. But seems this has become a no go zone although my car is parked on what is the public highway. I have been approached on two occasions and told to move away and that any car left unattended is liable to be removed. Anyone else had this problem?


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