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A birds Eye View
Manchester Airport Aviation Viewing Park
Member Name: kellylouj
Manchester Airport Aviation Viewing Park
Advantages: Great view of planes
Disadvantages: Not ideal if your not a plane spotter
The Manchester Airport Aviation Viewing Park is ideal for Plane enthusiasts of all kinds, in my case as I work in Travel specifically the Aviation field my interest is seeing the various Airlines operated from Manchester and for my partner as he builds Aircraft he is interested in the actual aircraft taking of from Manchester so overall it is ideal for all people that enjoy a trip to the Airport.
I must warn you though that if you do decide to comment on the plane or airline you may be launched upon by the Plane spotters that regularly make the trip out to the aviation field armed with walkie talkies and binoculars not to mention the wide lens paparazzi cameras that can be seen on every other person.
The Aviation Park is located on the A538 between Junction 6 of the M56 motorway, I was coming from Chester so I took the turning for the airport as usual and it is clearly signposted for the Aviation Viewing park and the directions are easy to follow. Turn down Sun bank Lane and you will see the Romper Pub on the left turn up this road, and take your next right onto Wilmslow Old Road and follow to the end into the Aviation Park.
I would recommend a route planner if you are not a regular visitor to the airport.
Each car and driver costs £3.00
Motorbike and driver costs £2.00
Additional passengers £1.00
As you will see the pricing system is strange it would be much better if there was a charge for car and passengers and a charge for visitors on foot.
One good thing about the Aviation park is that it is open every day apart from Christmas Day and opens 8.30am up until 8pm and there are always people there, however I went last Sunday and a Sunday in November is extremely cold, so wrap up warm.
There is a fast food stand located at the viewing park that sells a variety of snacks including, jacket potatoes, burgers, chips, hot dogs and soup. Hot and cold drinks are served also however the prices are not too extortionate.
Mark and I got one portion of chips and two cheeseburgers and this came to £6.70, too me I think this is a bit pricey but beggars can't be choosers.
• No dogs are allowed at the Aviation Viewing Park
• There is also a grassed picnic area and you are welcome to bring your own items of food onsite
• Litter bins are located all over the viewing park and the site is well maintained and kept extremely clean
• Toilets are located at the site and are communal but are kept clean and are fairly pleasant to use as far as public conveniences go.
The main event:-
Located at the Aviation Viewing Park is a retired Monarch Airlines DC-10 Aircraft which has been converted into an aviation classroom suitable for School groups and tours which can be prebooked for a tour and gives the real feel of being on an aircraft as the interior is complete with cockpit and audio/visual kit. This can only be pre-booked and can be arranged on 0161 4892442.
The last civil airliner built in the UK is also on display in the UK, the Avro RJX.
There are 3 raised platforms located around the viewing field that are ideal for taking close up photographs and run alongside the run way and you can also use the fixed binoculars located on the raised platforms for a small cost, I did not use this facility so am unable to check out the actual cost but am sure that it was £1.00
Also on site was the main attraction the retired "Concorde", it made 413 flights from Manchester.
In March 2004 the Concorde was moved to the Aviation Viewing Park and onboard tours take place costing £12.00 per person, this is a fully guided tour where you get the opportunity to sit in the seat of your favourite famous person but watch that you don't bang your head as most people do not estimate how low the ceiling is! The standard tour lasts approximately 40 minutes where the tour begins with an audio/visual tour, then a guided tour underneath Concorde before completing the onboard tour where you are then presented with a certificate to state that you have been on board Concorde.
Technical Tours are also available which gives more time on board for passengers and more time in the flight deck, this particular tour costs £20 per person and lasts for approximately an hour.
There is also a visitor centre located on the site offering plenty of factual and historical information to visitors and there is also an Aviation centre located next to the refreshment stands and offers plenty of timetables, memorabilia, ties, photographs, binoculars, replica aircraft, basically anything a flight enthusiast would like!
There is plenty of space at the car park located directly to the left of the entrance and is a gravelled area looking on at the runway from the comfort of your own vehicle.
Beware if you do decide to stay in your vehicle though as you will hear a lot of walkie talkies being operated and groups of plane spotters congregating around certain vehicles, it is easy to get addicted!
There is an additional car park located adjacent to the entrance which is intended for the overflow and this is just a short walk away from the viewing area.
My conclusion of the visit to the Aviation Park is that it is full of plane enthusiasts and if you are not 100% positive sure of the aircraft type e.g an A320 or a boeing 757 DO NOT COMMENT as you will be corrected and this will be accompanied by a dirty look, I was pre-warned before I left so didn't dare to say anything but found the atmosphere was relaxed and the people were friendly enough so please don't let me put you off.
Ideal if you want something cheap to pass the time and would like to learn a bit about Manchester Airport.
Summary: Great to kill some time
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