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Manchester Airport

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Continent: Europe Country: United Kingdom Region: England
Manchester Airport
Location Manchester, England
Airport type Commercial
Website []
Overview map [,-2.279320&spn=0.029493,0.076484&t=h&hl=en Google Maps]
Tower 118.625 (24R/06L)119.40 (24L/06R)
Ground 121.85
Clearance 121.70 (delivery)
Approach 119.525
ATIS 128.175 (Arrivals) 121.975 (Departures)

Official Spotting Locations

Multi storey car park

13th Floor of Multi storey car park - Terminal 1.

A.V.P. - Aviation viewing park

Signposted from main terminal areas and railway station. This area also contains Concorde,Avro 146,DC 10 nose section and Trident(not yet re-assembled)aircraft.

The shown location of the AVP on the linked Google map, is wrong.

The A.V.P is situated off the A538 between Junction 6 of the M56 motorway and the airport tunnels.

From the Junction 6 Roundabout follow signs for Wilmslow. After a very short distance you will see Sunbank Lane on the left with a sign post for “Concorde”. Turn left here and then immediately right at the crossroads onto Wilmslow Old Road and follow to the end.

You can get to the A.V.P by bus from the "The Station" at the Airport, which is situated mid-way between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 . Journey time by bus is approximately 10 minutes. The Styal Shuttle bus 201 operates year round on weekends and Bank Holidays. Buses leave The Station at 08.25, then every hour 09.32 until 17.32. Buses leave the Viewing Park every hour 09.25 until 17.25.

From 25 March - 30 October 2005 buses operate at weekends and Bank Holidays. Buses leave The Station every half hour from 08.55 & 09.25 until 16.55. Buses leave the Viewing Park every half hour from 09.10 & 09.40 until 17.10.

Arriva North West operates a daily service (bus 19, 19A, 19B, 19C) stopping at the rear of the World Freight Terminal from where the Aviation Viewing Park is approximately a 10 minute walk. Arriva 19/19B leaves The Station every half hour from 07.25 - 22.55 daily. Arriva 19A/19C leaves the World Freight Terminal every half hour from 07.30 - 18.00 Monday - Saturday. Some evening and Sunday services operate from the World Freight Terminal.

Other Spotting Locations

A disadvantage of the official Aviation Viewing Park (AVP) is that it faces the sun all day. This is a problem that can be avoided by going to the other side of the airport. Going there is easy by car. By public transport is possible too, but a bit of a handful.

To get there by bus you should first go to the AVP. Once there walk away towards the local pub, go to the left into the road in front of the pub (Sunbank Lane). Follow the street to the end. On your left you will see a bus stop. At this stop get onto the 288 to the Moat House Hotel (2 stops). If the bus driver is unfamiliar with the hotel tell him you want to go the the Holiday Inn. The bus leaves every hour at 30 past the hour.

The hotel has a shuttle bus, but I do not know if they will accept people that do not stay in the hotel.

Of course you can get here by car as well. Leave the M62 at junction 25. Take the Brighouse Spur Road (A644). Park at the Holiday Inn and walk the rest.

At the hotel you have two options. The Mounds and a spot near the new fire station.

The Mounds

When you stand in front of the hotel, walk to the left back into the direction you came from. Walk into the road on your right, and walk over the small stone bridge. Walk through the gate (remember to close it again!). Follow this footpath uphill and you will find yourself at the spot. Here there are a few mounds overlooking the runway and the airport with no fences to block the view.

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Near the new fire station

The second option when standing in front of the hotel is to walk back into the direction the bus came from. On the far side of the road as seen from the hotel there are steep stairs upwards. Follow this path for roughly 15 minutes. You will pass a load of gates, as long as you close them you should be fine. The path will lead you through a load of mud, behind the fire station, through some more mud, past a little river, through yet more mud and back uphill to the spot. This is probably the best spot there is as the planes rotate right in front of you for take-off.

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  • sample photo: large

Please note that this spot is useless between 1200 and 1500 hours because the runway will be closed. All flights are done from the other runway, but from this spot the planes are too far away. You will be fine though at the 1st spot.

Food Court

At the food court between terminal 1 and 2 there are a lot of large windows overlooking a few gates. Pictures can be had here from planes taxiing in the distance, as well as parked nearby.

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Locations to Avoid


Regular Traffic

Most of the British airlines and the usual European airlines. Some long haulers like AA, CO, EK, PIA etc.

Facilities and Transportation

Public Transportation

Railway Station at Airport between Terminals 1 & 2. Services from most of the UK mainline stations. Bus Station adjacent to railway station.

Travel tips