|Many airlines have modified their schedules as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, please consult a flight tracking site such as FlightAware or FlightRadar24 or airline web sites for current flight information.|
Some areas are restricting non-essential activities in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Please ensure that spotting is not temporarily prohibited by a local public health order before heading to the airport.
|Continent: Europe||Country: United Kingdom||Region: England|
|Overview map||[maps.google.co.uk/maps?ll=53.354138,-2.279320&spn=0.029493,0.076484&t=h&hl=en Google Maps]|
|Tower||118.625 (24R/06L)119.40 (24L/06R)|
|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 South 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.
By car, from the Junction 6 Roundabout off the M56, follow signs for Wilmslow along the A538. Approximately 1 mile along this road you will drive under the 2 runway tunnels. As you exit the 2nd tunnel you will come to a roundabout. Turn left at this roundabout and then turn immediatley right before the gate - Then park up on the left before the bridge, as this road becomes the Moat House hotel car park beyond the bridge. Do try to tuck your car into the hedge, as the hotel mini-bus screams up and down here every half-hour or so and its a narrow road!!
- DO NOT park anywhere between the roundabout and the gate - you WILL get a ticket or a tow - even on the grass verge. ***
At the hotel you have two options. The Mounds and a spot near the new fire station.
From the Hotel entrance, turn left and walk through the car park, over the small stone bridge and up to the top of this road. On the right is a black cattle gate. Walk through the gate and follow this footpath for approx half-a-mile. The path finishes at the runway security fence and you will see long earth mounds either side of you which offer superb elevated views of runway 2.
Near the new fire station
The second option is to walk from the hotel back to the rounabout. On the other side of the road you just came in on, you will see a footpath of steep steps rising to the top of the hill. Follow this path for roughly 15 minutes past the side of the new fire station and up to the runway security fence.
From here, you can go left and follow the path parallel to runway 2 down into a vally and then back up again to raised mounds which offer superb views of aircraft rotating on runway 2 for take-off.
As an alternative, turn left after the fire station and at the lowest point of the valley, turn right and follow the river through the tunnel under runway2. As you exit the tunnel turn right up the hill for a viewing spot half way between runway 1 and runway 2
Please note that runway 2 is usually closed 1200 and 1500 hours. Also check before making any journey which way the aircraft are flying!. For approx 20% of the year, the wind shifts and the flying changes direction.
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.
- JetPhotos.net sample photo: large
Locations to Avoid
Most of the British airlines and the usual European airlines. Some long haulers like AA, CO, EK, PIA etc.
Facilities and Transportation
Railway Station at Airport between Terminals 1 & 2. Services from most of the UK mainline stations. Bus Station adjacent to railway station.