The Runway Visitor Park is by far the most popular, and the only official, spotting location at Manchester. It's situated about 2/3's of the way along runway 1 (23R/05L) and opposite the start of Runway 23L. It is child friendly.
The main purpose built viewing area is placed close to the taxiways that are used by aircraft vacating runway 23R after landing and by aircraft taxiing to Runway 05L for departure. There are 3 raised mounds that give a 180 degree unobstructed view of the complete airfield (excluding the Western Apron).
There is a large car-park, an Aviation Shop, a hangar with Concorde G-BOAC inside, a complete BAe Avro 146-RX100 Jet, a Monarch DC-10 nose section, a complete BEA Hawker Siddley HS-121 Trident 3B and the newest addition, a complete Hawker-Siddeley Nimrod. Tours are available, ring or ask in the shop.
Concorde is today housed in a £1.1 million, 68 metre by 38 metre, glass, steel and high tech PVC hangar. The hangar development includes a corporate hospitality suite, an education centre, an aviation exhibition and a glass-walled restaurant alongside Concorde with 180 degree views of the airfield.
The latest Concorde tour prices are available here:
The RVP is open everyday (except Christmas Day) from 8:00am until dusk.
Cars: People arriving on foot, by cycle and bus have free entry.
- £3 for up to 1 hours stay
- £6 for up to 2 hours stay
- £9 for up to 3 hours stay
- £12 for over 3 hours stay
The RVP is situated just off the A538 between Junction 6 of the M56 and the road tunnels under the runways. From the roundabout at Junction 6, head South towards an array of traffic lights. Go straight on through the lights. After a short distance you will see Sunbank Lane on the left. Turn left here and then immediately right at the crossroads onto Wilmslow Old Road. Follow Wilmslow Old Road past the hangars which are on your left until you see a crashgate at the end of the road. Turn right at this gate into the park. The viewing park is signposted as "Runway Visitor Park" on brown signs in the local area.
Another way of getting to the RVP is in the Swans bus. This departs from the main airport bus station at 16 minutes past every hour from 0916 until 1716 and then departs the viewing park at 25 minutes past the hour. An adult return costs £2.50 and a single costs £1.50. The bus is popular and on many occasions I have personally experienced cancellations and huge delays with this service. Hopefully the airport will step in soon and takeover the service themselves to improve access to the Runway Visitor Park they invested in.
Airbus A380s regularly taxi past the AVP, offering up great views.
Aircraft landing on Runway 05L touch down in line with the AVP.
Aircraft heading to and from runway 1 taxi past at close distance.
The heaviest aircraft lift from 23R right in front of the Aviation Viewing Park.
Antonov An-225 UR-82060 attracted great crowds on her recent visit. She arrived late but was still greeted by hundreds of spotters at the RVP.
The raised mounds provide a clear view over the barbed fencing.