Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

Spotter guide

Spotter guide

Hey everyone,


I hope you enjoyed your bank holiday. A long weekend just before we go back to university. I definitely made the most of mine. The weather was absolutely stunning, sunny and warm, excellent for any outside activities.


For those of you who are indifferent to aeroplanes, I definitely talked too much about it in the post last week. However, I believe there is a broad audience that will get my vibe (especially if you are applying or already studying BSc (Hons) Aviation and Airport Management. So, here is how I used my free time; I’ve been plane spotting. For all of you who are amazed by aeroplanes, this is the post to read.


I call aeroplanes ‘massive time machines’ as they transport us to different worlds, allowing us to experience and meet unknown cultures, to taste extraordinary life and to expand our mindset. But to the main point now.


There are two free aircraft viewing areas at Birmingham International Airport. One located in Car Park 5 of the airport and another one at the other end of the runway. There is just one runway but depending on the time of the day, year and the wind, aeroplanes land and take-off on both sides. The one by the car park provides a view of runway 33 and the taxiway, shortly before aircrafts touchdown. Even though there are benches and a good view of the aircrafts movement, sometimes the fence can obstruct the picture (for those of us interested in taking one). It’s a perfect option to visit before or after your flight as it is 10 min walking to the departures terminal.


The other aircraft viewing area, that I strongly recommend, is located in Sheldon Country Park. You can get there by car or alternatively, train to Marson Green station (one stop from Airport/NEC). It is a great place for a picnic and aeroplane spotting at the same time. Coming to this spot, you should definitely take your camera! It is perfect for approach and crosswind photographs. Do not forget your picnic blanket, a few sandwiches and snacks and there you go a good one day spent outside under the sun and all kind of aeroplanes.


In terms of best time to go, I would advise you to download the FLIO app and keep yourself updated on the airlines and aircraft arrival and departure time or your favourite aircraft.

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