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seansasLCY
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ViewHeathrow Observation Deck

Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:51 pm

Your Heathrow twitter account posted today announcing the Heathrow Observation Deck at T4. It said more info soon.

Does anyone know more about this? (I'm posting from my phone so can't link the tweet)
 
TC957
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RE: ViewHeathrow Observation Deck

Mon Dec 23, 2013 6:48 pm

WooHoo ! So this is what was promised on the Aviation Photography section thread. Seems like a decent location too. Hope this is a success.
Thanks to those involved to make it happen.
     
 
jfk777
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RE: ViewHeathrow Observation Deck

Mon Dec 23, 2013 6:51 pm

Can this be accessed without going "Airside" through security ?
 
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GCT64
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RE: ViewHeathrow Observation Deck

Mon Dec 23, 2013 6:55 pm

Is it airside? It looks to be from the comments on the site and other references on the Heathrow website.
Obviously airside its usability for photography and spotting will be pretty limited.
Nice facility if you happen to be flying out of T4 though and have time to use it.
Flown in: A20N,A21N,A30B,A306,A310,A319,A320,A321,A332,A333,A343,A346,A359,A388,BA11,BU31,(..56 more types..),VC10,WESX
 
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GCT64
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RE: ViewHeathrow Observation Deck

Mon Dec 23, 2013 6:57 pm

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 3):
Can this be accessed without going "Airside" through security ?

Doesn't appear so. Heathrow website says it for passengers to watch the planes and then comments: "None of the terminals has a spectators' viewing area for non-passengers."
Flown in: A20N,A21N,A30B,A306,A310,A319,A320,A321,A332,A333,A343,A346,A359,A388,BA11,BU31,(..56 more types..),VC10,WESX
 
HNL
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RE: ViewHeathrow Observation Deck

Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:14 pm

It's the old HoliDeck lounge which was an independent lounge and I think the KM lounge before that.
HNL - There's no place like it!
 
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scbriml
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RE: ViewHeathrow Observation Deck

Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:44 pm

Quoting GCT64 (Reply 4):
Obviously airside its usability for photography and spotting will be pretty limited.
Nice facility if you happen to be flying out of T4 though and have time to use it.

To me, this looks like a huge missed opportunity.

T4 offers some great views of Heathrow. Possibly the very best when 09R is being used for departures. When BA operated from T4, I often sat there watching movements thinking "Why not have a viewing deck on the roof?" It could have been close to perfect, instead it offers nothing except for the few passengers who notice it's there while browsing duty free.

#frustrating
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There are 10 types of people in the World - those that understand binary and those that don't.
 
palmjet
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RE: ViewHeathrow Observation Deck

Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:26 am

Given the current situation at LHR following the closure of the Queen's Building facilities, and the BAA's recent attitude toward spotting and spotters at the airport - instead of being frustrated, we should be regarding this as a positive step to normalising viewing facilities for enthusiasts. While LHR's facilities will never be like AMS, FRA or ZRH again in the post 9-11 world, perhaps once the BAA realises that a spotting area can be run properly and there are no security breaches, it might open their minds to something landside.
Eastern - Number One To The Sun
 
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scbriml
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RE: ViewHeathrow Observation Deck

Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:45 am

Quoting palmjet (Reply 7):
following the closure of the Queen's Building facilities

You see, the thing is, that was never that good. A lot of folks have a romanticised vision of what the viewing desk was like. The reality is, from about the mid-70s the view was pretty restricted as T2 grew and was south-facing (i.e. looking into the sun most of the time.) Sadly, I'm old enough to have used it.     

Quoting palmjet (Reply 7):
instead of being frustrated, we should be regarding this as a positive step to normalising viewing facilities for enthusiasts.

I would readily agree if this facility were aimed at enthusiasts. But it isn't, it's for passengers.

My frustration comes from the fact that I'm a photographer and the location of this facility could be brilliant. But if I can't get there, it's not worth anything to me or any other serious photographer. Even if I were to get access, it looks like you'd be shooting through very thick and heavily tinted glass.

If all you want to do is watch planes, possibly even write down registrations, then it's probably perfect. IF you happen to be flying out of T4.

Heck, I'd even agree it's a great facility if, say, they allowed certified members of the Heathrow Airport Watch through security to use it. But I seriously doubt they will.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
There are 10 types of people in the World - those that understand binary and those that don't.
 
abrown532
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RE: ViewHeathrow Observation Deck

Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:43 am

Viewing areas can also be seen as revenue generating areas as well if a cafe and a model shop etc... were added. I don't know why many more airports don't incorporate these ideas in their master plans.
 
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readytotaxi
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RE: ViewHeathrow Observation Deck

Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:13 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 8):
Sadly, I'm old enough to have used i

Hey Scbriml, is that you?  
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
Growing older, but not up.
 
rutankrd
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RE: ViewHeathrow Observation Deck

Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:16 pm

Quoting abrown532 (Reply 9):

Viewing areas can also be seen as revenue generating areas as well if a cafe and a model shop etc... were added. I don't know why many more airports don't incorporate these ideas in their master plans.


Its all current UK intelligence and security lead thinking really.

The facts are the operators want to discourage as many non travellers as possible from these facilities (Airports).
Non travellers can not be subjected to the obscene security and background checks passengers, staff and official visitors are and are therefore a huge risk in their eyes.

Frankly we now have politicians, security experts both independent and state security making policy and regulation without the normal and very important cost/benefit oversights.

This makes operating an airport so much more difficult.

We have reactionary regulation such as removing direct vehicular access to terminal fronts because ONE incident !

We have total screening of All departing passengers -Almost certainly unnecessary.
Actually the government should have implanted a single hand baggage policy and enforce ALL other baggage into hold - This may have broken few business models however the queues would reduce significantly .

Finally there is zero need to view every bloody EU passport at the border - Fact being we have a Right to enter - We even have right to enter if a warrant exists !

Border agency need to concentrate on Visa countries only and simple random checks elsewhere.

Sorry rant !
 
brilondon
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RE: ViewHeathrow Observation Deck

Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:21 pm

Quoting GCT64 (Reply 3):

Is it airside? It looks to be from the comments on the site and other references on the Heathrow website.
Obviously airside its usability for photography and spotting will be pretty limited.
Nice facility if you happen to be flying out of T4 though and have time to use it.

Even when you are air side with the windows it is hard to get a decent photo. Although this is a step in the right direction. Are they planning to have one in the new T2 I hope?

Really, the only places though to get great shots is from the perimeter roads around the airport except for that wonderful accent they placed on the fence right about the height that makes it a pain in the rear. Hatton Cross is still an option I suppose and some of the hotels on the north are pretty good places.

I was at HNL spotting a couple of weeks ago and over heard some of the rent-a-cops complain about spotters being more of a nuisance than helpful. I could see their point although I completely disagree with it. That it not only means they have to watch the passengers but also keep track of spotters and photographers as well. The prevailing theory I have come up with is that they would prefer only to allow passengers on the airport property and no one else.

[Edited 2013-12-24 06:00:48]
Rush forever Closer To My Heart
 
A340600MAN
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RE: ViewHeathrow Observation Deck

Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:29 pm

Hi all

Changing the subject slightly. I went to the observation platform that has been erected in front of the Heathrow Academy building car park (to the left of the Renaissance Hotel as you look towards the northern runway). Not the best area in terms of photography but if you are just viewing aircraft or writing registrations than it perfectly adequate.

...... but who was the bright spark / plank who decided to plant trees all along the front of the car park perimeter fence so in summer when in full bloom the trees are going to block the view?

[Edited 2013-12-24 05:41:17]
Favourite aircraft is the A350-900.
 
UK_Dispatcher
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RE: ViewHeathrow Observation Deck

Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:49 pm

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 10):
Hey Scbriml, is that you?

No, that is Adrian! I am not sure if he is on a.net.
 
brilondon
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RE: ViewHeathrow Observation Deck

Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:55 pm

Quoting abrown532 (Reply 9):

Viewing areas can also be seen as revenue generating areas as well if a cafe and a model shop etc... were added. I don't know why many more airports don't incorporate these ideas in their master plans.

They have to be made secure and you know how airports handle security these days.
Rush forever Closer To My Heart
 
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scbriml
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RE: ViewHeathrow Observation Deck

Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:08 pm

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 10):
Hey Scbriml, is that you?

Ha ha, no it's not.   

Quoting brilondon (Reply 15):
They have to be made secure and you know how airports handle security these days.

I don't dispute that, but there are plenty of major international airports around that provide the type of facility we can only dream of at Heathrow. Most Japanese main airports could be held up as great examples. While the viewing terraces have fences, they have cut-outs for cameras.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
There are 10 types of people in the World - those that understand binary and those that don't.
 
TC957
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RE: ViewHeathrow Observation Deck

Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:54 pm

Perhaps an idea could be that a self-service machine could issue a " boarding pass " valid for the day for the HeathrowView area, that allows access through security in the normal way. Perhaps for, say, a £1 fee. That way the numbers using the facility could be easily monitered. But I guess the issue then would be how do you get back, as the facility is not in the area for incoming passengers.

Just a thought....
 
babybus
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RE: ViewHeathrow Observation Deck

Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:05 pm

Basically, the BAA have never wanted to encourage plane spotters at LHR. If they are opening up some space it must have some commercial gain.

When I was a kid we used to plane spot from the top of Terminal 3 car park.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.

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