London Luton Airport
|Continent: Europe||Country: United Kingdom||Region: England|
|London Luton Airport|
|Overview map||Google Maps|
Although Luton airport does not house any official spots there are many spot around the airport. Luton is one of the best airports in London for spotting, it has many interesting arrivals and the authorities have no problem with photography and spotting so long as you do not tresspass on to forbidden land.
Official Spotting Locations
Other Spotting Locations
Fire Station Access Road/The Bridge
Besides taxiway Alpha, opposite the terminal. To reach this point you must head out of the terminal area and through the tunnel which goes under taxiway Alpha. You'll see a small hill straight ahead of you which is where the spot is. Beware that no parking is allowed here as it is a working area! The North side of the taxiway can also be used, you get closer to the aircraft here, but it may become backlit in the afternoons and winter months, and so you may be advised to use the south side. The authorities won't move you on from here.
Taxi rank and set down area
This is the closest thing Luton has to an official viewing area. As the roadway is higher than the apron there are views of the east apron and taxiway over the fence.
- JetPhotos.net sample photo: large
If you're most interested in number jotting then this is probably the best place to go. Head towards the M1 and then turn right at the third roundabout you reach. Then turn right again heading towards Wheathampstead. This road goes for a couple of miles before you take the 2nd left at a set of crossroads. Go under the railway and climb up the hill before turning left then immediatley bearing right. Turn left at the next junction and follow the road to the runway. The authorities are usually fine with you here, provided you don't block the gate with any part of your car. If you plan to take photographs here you will require a step-ladder.
Outside of terminal building
By the front of the terminal building, by the short term car park, you can see over the parking ramps which are often used by airlines such as Wizz and Monarch. Photography here isn't the best, as only the front aircraft are fully visible, and the taxiway in the distance may be too distant and hazy during the summer. The authorities won't move you on from here.
Locations to Avoid
Luton is the largest airport for business jet traffic in the country. At peak times there can be up to 5 or 6 an hour.
The largest operator at the airport is EasyJet, followed by Ryanair.
Below is a list of the scheduled passenger airlines operating into Luton:
- Aer Arran (ATR72),
- Wizz Air (A320),
- Ryanair (737),
- Easyjet (737/A319),
- Monarch (A320series),
- Thomson Airways (757/737),
- Sky Europe (737),
- FlyBe (Dash 8),
- El Al (767),
The airport has a small cargo operation, DHL operate a couple of flights per day with A300s, and Air Atlatique's Bae ATP's often arrive and depart during the night.
Occasionaly the airport is visited by interesting arrivals for maintenance in either the Thomson or Monarch hangers. Visitors in the past have included 767s from First Choice, FlyGlobespan and Air Seychelles.
Facilities and Transportation
All the facilities are inside the terminal building.
Luton airport parkway serves the airport, although it is not directly adjacent to it, a shuttle bus runs about once every 10 minutes during peak times. Formerly free, rail passengers now have to pay £1 each way for the shuttle, and non-rail passengers have to pay £1.50 one-way and £3.00 for return. The railway goes all the way from Brighton in the south, through London and up to Bedford, but there are faster services available which go much further north as well. There are numerous buses running from all over the south east.