LN-ATC
Topic Author
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2001 2:54 am

Will LHR Spectator's Area Re-open?

Mon May 19, 2003 8:29 am

Due to "the world situation", the spectators' viewing area on top of the Queen's Building/Terminal Two was temporarily closed, I guess it still is? Airliner World's 2003 May issue contained a detailed article about London Heathrow, saying for example:

"The British Airport's Authority says it is sympathetic towards enthusiasts, though there is little current evidence of this. With summer fast approaching, the number of people who wish to watch the comings and goings at Heathrow can only increase."

Is it likely that the viewing are will re-open before/during the summer? What do you think?
Anders Presterud, Stavanger, Norway
 
kjbersas
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 1999 4:39 pm

RE: Will LHR Spectator's Area Re-open?

Mon May 19, 2003 9:29 am

Sure hope they do re-open, because i'm going to the UK this summer.
Livet er godt....
 
sunilgupta
Posts: 768
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2000 12:15 pm

RE: Will LHR Spectator's Area Re-open?

Mon May 19, 2003 3:58 pm

A couple of us tried to find out yesterday if they were going to reopen because we got chased from the top or car park 2. A woman who claimed to be airport security came up and told us to leave. We pretty much refused so she called us in. When another women in full uniform showed up she spilled the beans that the other women was El-Al security. Sure enough a few minutes later an El-Al 777 landed. The point of all this is that if the observation deck were open they would not have to hassle with everyone on the parking decks. We tried to tell them this but it was pointless I think.

Cross you fingers and hope for the best.

Sunil
 
KingWide
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Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2001 7:30 am

RE: Will LHR Spectator's Area Re-open?

Mon May 19, 2003 9:05 pm

The key point is that the government has given permission for the deck to reopen if LHR places a security patrol on it. As they [security] have no resources to do that, it stays closed. I strongly doubt they'll recruit someone solely for the purpose of patrolling the terrace so it will stay closed.


J
Jason Taperell - AirTeamImages
 
G-CIVP
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RE: Will LHR Spectator's Area Re-open?

Tue May 20, 2003 2:38 am

Problem is theres conflicting rumours circulating. Other sources are saying its because the BAA won't shell out on increased insurance premiums for the terrace, hence its shut as its the 'cheaper' option as opposed to employing a security guard.

This said, those with good memories will remember when bags were searched at one stage on entry to the building by a security guard, after the terrorist attacks in the mid to late 1990's.

I've heard even more bizarre reasons as well, which are probably best not mentioned here.


 
LHR340
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RE: Will LHR Spectator's Area Re-open?

Tue May 20, 2003 3:04 am

I hope it will re-open in the summer, but even if it doesn't there are still plenty of good spots to spot at "the field"(Mrytle Avenue) or the visitors centre, although they say they won't be putting a spectators gallery on top of T5 I bet they will, because that will be the best place to spot!! Or maybe when they build the new control tower we could get that.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

LHR340

[Edited 2003-05-19 20:05:56]
A340 LoVeR! EC-GQK - LHR The Bussiest International Airport & 3rd Bussiest In The World!
 
LN-ATC
Topic Author
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2001 2:54 am

RE: Will LHR Spectator's Area Re-open?

Tue May 20, 2003 4:32 am

If money is the problem, I'm sure the enthusiasts will gladly pay an entrance fee (a few £), so BAA can afford having security guards up there. If BAA finds a couple of guards that are interested in aviation, I bet they'll do the guarding almost for nothing!  Smokin cool
Anders Presterud, Stavanger, Norway
 
janne
Posts: 367
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2001 4:37 am

RE: Will LHR Spectator's Area Re-open?

Tue May 20, 2003 4:44 am

This is shocking news to me. I am going to London on May 29 for the sole
purpose of spotting at Heathrow and Gatwick (and also to go to the
Classic Airshow in Coventry). You mean they've closed down Queens Building.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!
How about Gatwick. Have they closed down the terrace there also?
/janne
 
Msh744
Posts: 423
Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 10:09 am

RE: Will LHR Spectator's Area Re-open?

Tue May 20, 2003 5:59 am

It's a sad but true sight. Here's some photographic evidence from May 11. Edit: I just noticed that this photo was taken 25 minutes away from the 20 month anniversary of 9/11 (the minute the first plane crashed).



However, I went to the top of the T3 Carpark (with signs everyhwere that say "Viewing Prohibited. Leave area immediately" (or something along those lines) and watched a few planes depart, but 1. I didn't have a long enough lens (280mm), 2. There were too many obstructions and 3. It was windy and somewhat cold. No security people up there, but the views weren't very good.

Here are some shots from the T3 Carpark





However, since I was a passenger (on UAL 979 to JFK), I could enter the terminal and I found a great spotting place (have to shoot through a window, but hey, 13 out of my 14 shots on the site have been taken through windows) in Terminal 3. What you do is enter the gate area, turn left, and walk millions of miles until you reach the end of the terminal. Nobody, and I mean nobody was there. A Turkish A310 was just sitting at a gate 50 feet away, but the pax (if there were any) were in the gate lounge. I took lots of pics from this area, and I used the power outlet that was there to charge my other camera battery.

Here's a few pics I took from/in this area in T3.

Wide angle view (not with wide angle lens, though. just 35mm)



A Libyan Arab Airlines A300 as seen from this area
A British Aiways A320-100 as seen from this area

Sorry if this mini trip report was too long or too boring etc. I just want to inform people about the situation.

-Msh744

[Edited 2003-05-19 23:00:37]

[Edited 2003-05-19 23:27:25]
 
janne
Posts: 367
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2001 4:37 am

RE: Will LHR Spectator's Area Re-open?

Tue May 20, 2003 6:16 am

This is outrageous. I was in (on?) the Queens Building 2 weeks after
September 11, 2001, and I was impressed by the professionalism of
the security people at Heathrow that understood the difference between
terrorists and spotters. I thought the security on Arlanda, Stockholm
was a bit to much when they searched me for just going between two
terminals with my camera. In London I had no problems whatsoever.
I even asked a couple of policemen for help when taking photos
of the aircraft and they helped me.
/jl
 
janne
Posts: 367
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2001 4:37 am

RE: Will LHR Spectator's Area Re-open?

Tue May 20, 2003 6:26 am

It just came to my mind. I remember in the 70'ies when most airports
closed down their spectator terraces because of the leftwing terrorist
actions that where the high fashion of those days.
Der (Die?) Rote Armee Fractzione, The Red Brigades and the like.
So now we have the same killing of innocents going around.
Has anyone of you heard of an attack that's been launched from a
spectators deck?
/jl
 
trintocan
Posts: 2726
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2000 6:02 pm

RE: Will LHR Spectator's Area Re-open?

Tue May 20, 2003 9:44 am

This is sad, after all I went to the deck on 28 January and had an enjoyable albeit cold, wet and windy day up there photographing planes. I also bought 3 Swissair A320 family models. It must have been my luck, as I saw Concorde take off (well I went early in order to see that) and see BWIA's last TriStar service from LHR in its own colours. As it would also turn out, this was just the week before they closed it!

TrintoCan.
Hop to it, fly for life!
 
qantas744
Posts: 1658
Joined: Wed May 05, 2004 6:25 pm

RE: Will LHR Spectator's Area Re-open?

Wed May 21, 2003 12:05 am

I'm sorry to say Janne that noone has ever heard of an attack being launched from a flights school either-but a flight school played it's part in 9/11 and that is what counts. I would like to see the deck reopen as much as everyone else BUT.........


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There's more to LHR than the viewing deck Smile/happy/getting dizzy


Matt
you can't buy time but you can sell your soul and the closest thing to heaven is to rock'n'roll
 
dc-10 levo
Posts: 3376
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2001 3:22 am

RE: Will LHR Spectator's Area Re-open?

Wed May 21, 2003 3:10 am

Half term is coming, and I was going to travel down to LHR. I hoped the spectators deck had opened again, but obviously it isn't. I wrote to BAA through email in February half term and they replied, (very quickly) saying that the spectators deck is indefinitely closed and if I was still going to travel down, to go to the new BA building where I could get a good view of aircraft taking off. BAA told us that we were not allowed to walk around the premises as security officers were patrolling.

I didn't go down, with all the building going off (T5), we didn't think it was worth it. We went to MAN instead.

So, this half term, (depending on the weather) we are hopefully going down to LHR. If not, its MAN again.

DC-10
 
janne
Posts: 367
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2001 4:37 am

RE: Will LHR Spectator's Area Re-open?

Mon May 26, 2003 5:27 am

Well, anyway. I say RULE BRITANNIA, I mean you invented the jet engine,
you flew the Comet. I was a kid at Stockholm, Bromma airport.
I remember the BEA Viscounts but also the Comet 4.

 
FutureFO
Posts: 2811
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2001 10:58 pm

RE: Will LHR Spectator's Area Re-open?

Fri May 30, 2003 7:30 am

I was in LON in Mar and was amazed that the LHR deck was still closed and went to LGW and was able to pay my GBP1.50 to get on the deck. I thought it odd but maybe because LGW is not that busy of an airport and that they collect money to enter was the only reasons to keep it open. I did however do some spotting from the Hatton X area. I would however hope that the deck at LHR reopen soon.
I Don't know where I am anymore

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