planesarecool
Posts: 3211
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2001 12:37 am

Spotting At BHX

Mon May 31, 2004 5:53 am

Hi,

On friday my dad will be heading up to Birmingham (UK) for work, on the train, and the train stops at Birmingham Airport. I wanted to go up there and check it out, but i don't want to go up there and find that there is nowhere to spot and that i'll just be standing around looking at walls and check in desks for 5 hours. So what i was going to ask is, is there anywhere in the terminal that i can see aircraft movements in and around the apron as well as the main runway? Bear in mind i won't have any means of transport so i cannot drive round to any off site locations. Also i have never stepped foot inside BHX or never actually seen it with my own eyes so i have no idea what it is like, so is it easy to find your way around. Also is the train station near to the terminal?

If i go i'll be there between about 12:00-17:00/18:00 so i guess i'll miss a lot of the heavies that go in and out, but do you BHX regulars think it'll be worth it, or would i be staring at a wall or something for 5/6hrs?

Thanks
-Stephen
 
dan330
Posts: 433
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2001 12:52 am

RE: Spotting At BHX

Mon May 31, 2004 6:30 am

BHX has an indoor viewing area on top of the terminal, although I think the apron is a little difficult to see now with the new building but the runway is visible. If the weathers OK theres also the outdoor area located in the long stay car park just a short walk from the terminal.
Also with regard to missing the "heavies". Only "heavy" I know of (discounting the charter 767's) is the Emirates 777 and you should see that at least depart if you miss the landing.

Some more info can be found here:
http://www.plane-mad.com/guide_view.php?guide=bhx

Also for whats due in try the arrivals on the website the day before, they're listed a long way in advance on there:
http://www.bhx.co.uk
 
planesarecool
Posts: 3211
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2001 12:37 am

RE: Spotting At BHX

Mon May 31, 2004 6:48 am

If the weathers OK theres also the outdoor area located in the long stay car park just a short walk from the terminal.

Does that mean for my comfort i can go there if its not raining or do you mean it's only "open" when the weather's ok. The shots from there look quite good. How far is it from the terminal, or in fact, the train station. I don't mind walking a bit, i just can't go all the way around the other side of the airport  Big grin

Also with regard to missing the "heavies". Only "heavy" I know of (discounting the charter 767's) is the Emirates 777 and you should see that at least depart if you miss the landing

I was just meaning as a general for International flights from Asia/MidEast/USA not literally heavies. I understand that Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan Airlines go there. I'm guessing early morning, no? Also don't PIA send A310's to BHX and onto North America?

Also now that Duo have gone, does this have a major impact on the airport's traffic. Wasn't BHX their main hub?

Thanks for the info!
-Stephen
 
ScottishLaddie
Posts: 2309
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 8:30 am

RE: Spotting At BHX

Mon May 31, 2004 6:56 am

I'll be there on Thusday for a while in the morning and later on in the evening. It was down to BHX that duo went bust! eh, nevermind.....
 
bhxforever
Posts: 549
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2001 6:40 am

RE: Spotting At BHX

Mon May 31, 2004 10:23 pm

I would recommend the field by the long stay carpark for spotting, as long as the weather is good.

http://members.lycos.co.uk/aviate/spotting.htm

Getting from the train station to the terminal isn't a problem as it is liked by skyrail (monorail).

http://www.bhx.co.uk/skyrail.cfm

If the weather isn't so good then theres always the Aviation Experience, but the views aren't as good from here.

http://www.bhx.co.uk/visitor.cfm

Hope this helps!


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ACES320
Posts: 292
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2004 9:50 am

RE: Spotting At BHX

Mon May 31, 2004 10:52 pm

You can literally step off your train and board the Skylink. This is a comfortable and fast connecting service that will take you from the train station into the main terminal.

Some of the big ones I have seen there:

Emirates A330, just once in a while operated in a 777.

Pakistan A310

Britannia 767

Continental 757

Air2000 757

Access to the observation deck it's worth 1 pound, however there is a lot of entertainment there. CCTV covering all the terminals, that you can operate yourself.

As to the spotting areas, it will take may be 10 minutes walk to get from the main terminal to the long stay parking. If weather is not favorable you can shelter in one of the bus-stops though.

If you have more time, you can walk around since there are other interesting places to go in the airport, however you could need the whole day to do it.

Cheers




LHR, BHX, EDI, BKK, USM, CNX, PHU, GRU,PEI, BOG, CTG, CPH, AMS, DOH, DXB, FRA, MAD and always PEI
 
SpeedbirdHeavy
Posts: 414
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2004 3:39 pm

RE: Spotting At BHX

Mon May 31, 2004 11:35 pm

Did they ever get that Maglev running again?
China Airlines...Come fry with us!
 
LN-KGL
Posts: 817
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 1999 6:40 am

RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:05 am

This last April me and two fellow spotters from Norway visited Birmingham. A report from this visit you'll find here:
http://www.plane-spotter.com/Reports/BirminghamInternationalAirport.htm
The report will also show that it is possible to spot in rainy weather  Smile

I recommend you start your trip by visiting the Aviation Experience on the top floor of terminal 1. Pick up the "BHX Flight Guide" at Ian Allan Bookshop (£5.95). The booklet contains all you need of information for BHX (flight schedules, maps, frequencies, .....).

Happy Spotting!
Kurt
 
worldoftui
Posts: 1054
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 5:18 pm

RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:26 am

Speedbirdheavy

The Maglev has been renewed and replaced. Now called Skylink They took their time though!

So has the dedicated field area, with picnic benches and the hot-dog van gone from the Long Term Parking area?

Also, good to see that EK have upgraded their service from the A330. BHX must be doing very nicely for them.

Mark
 
dan330
Posts: 433
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2001 12:52 am

RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:33 am

Just to add, according to the timetables I have, on Friday:

Turkmenistan 757 departs about 1000, a little early for you
Uzbekistan 757 arrives 1140 departs 1240
Emirates (should be 777 all the time now) arrives 1230 departs 1400
Air Slovakia 757 is down for 1600 arrival 1755 departure

The outdoor area is open all the time but I was just saying about the weather being bad then you would more likely want an indoor area.

Another good BHX site that may be of interest:
http://members.lycos.co.uk/thebhx/
 
bhxforever
Posts: 549
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2001 6:40 am

RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:35 am

No the field is still there, complete with the very old looking benches. Can't recall seeing a hotdog stand though:S
 
worldoftui
Posts: 1054
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 5:18 pm

RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:40 am

Bhxforever

Fair enough. Not good for you anyway!

I remember flying from BHX in 95 to SKG, and 98 to POP. Comparing the airport then to now is just incredible. A superb and modern facility. The "Eurohub" (is it still called that? I doubt it) is very impressive, and joining the 2 terminals together was a great idea. Top marks for the Aviation Experience, even if the new development at the airport has reduced the quality of the views available. At least they have improved the facilities there too. LHR take note! No security issues and still open.

Will have to take a flight from there this year so I can have a look airside.


Mark
 
SpeedbirdHeavy
Posts: 414
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2004 3:39 pm

RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:56 am

The Maglev has been renewed and replaced. Now called Skylink They took their time though!

Is it still a Maglev system, or was it replaced because they couldn't get it to work?
China Airlines...Come fry with us!
 
ACES320
Posts: 292
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2004 9:50 am

RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:56 am

Worldoftui.
BHX it's really impressive. It's worth going there. I would say Birmingham's it's one of the friendlier airports in UK.

I wouldn't complain on the views available. There are a lot of spotting areas still around the airport, and the observation deck in the Aviation Experience it's really comfortable when weather doesn't help outdoors.

For spotters you can get really nice shots whether landing approaches are made by the south or by the north as in the long stay there is still a spectacular view available.
LHR, BHX, EDI, BKK, USM, CNX, PHU, GRU,PEI, BOG, CTG, CPH, AMS, DOH, DXB, FRA, MAD and always PEI
 
bhxforever
Posts: 549
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2001 6:40 am

RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:57 am

Yes, the airport has come a rather long way over the last 5 years or so. The Eurohub is no longer called that, now its Terminal 2. Apparently the name change was due to pax getting confused and thinking that the Eurohub was for all European flights.
 
worldoftui
Posts: 1054
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 5:18 pm

RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jun 01, 2004 1:01 am

Speedbirdheavy

I believe it is still a maglev. The route of it had to change slightly as they have extended the terminal.

Mark

EDIT: No complaints whatsoever about BHX - just a pointed remark for BAA re LGW and LHR. BHX does a lot for the spotter community. Great little (no so little) airport.


[Edited 2004-05-31 18:02:30]
 
planesarecool
Posts: 3211
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2001 12:37 am

RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jun 01, 2004 1:02 am

Thanks for all the info, it's helped a lot. I want to go there on Friday but i may not be able to (mainly because there is work on the Virgin Trains line between Euston and B'ham so my dad might choose to go by car if it's easier. Also it would be weather permitting).

Don't American Airlines operate a B767 flight from O'Hare, or was that stopped?

Another question regarding the spotting areas. I'm guessing that in the terminal there are many cafés and restaurants, but is there anywhere around the other spotting places (long term car park etc) where i could get something to eat. A snack would do.

Thanks again
-Stephen
 
bhxforever
Posts: 549
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2001 6:40 am

RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jun 01, 2004 1:08 am

AA ceased the 767 to ORD in the aftermath of 9/11, although it was restarted for a few months. Main reason for pulling out besides 9/11 was that there was not enough demand for premium cabins, although Y was usually full. CO have compensated for this by introducing a 2nd daily flight to New York, but it would be nice to have some choice back.
 
worldoftui
Posts: 1054
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 5:18 pm

RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jun 01, 2004 1:09 am

The terminal has plenty of eateries to choose from. No problem there at all. Always a Boots to grab a sandwich from.

Mark
 
geoffm
Posts: 2082
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 5:58 am

RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jun 01, 2004 5:17 am

BHX is fantastic in my opinion. I flew on the EK flight to DXB (thence to BKK) - A330 in November 2003. We saw the CO depart, my EK plane land, then just a few minutes later took the same gate that the CO had left just a short while earlier!

Having the nose-cam at my seat meant I could watch the view from the front as we took off. Amazing!

The return journey meant we got from plane to street in about 20 minutes. The longest wait was for the luggage, although I think some people managed to breeze through barely stopping.

The entry fee to the viewing deck is refunded if you buy something from the rather good aviation shop.

The maglev is no longer maglev I believe (too expensive and hard to get bits for). Just a rubber tyred thingy on flat rails now.

Geoff M.