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Southend viewing guide

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Southend viewing guide

Post by andygolfer » Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:46 pm

Firstly many thanks to BobUK for his help in putting this together including provision of most of the photos used here.

The guide includes a google earth (https://earth.google.com) plan of the general layout of the whole airport and is followed by google map images of the main accessible areas for viewing & photography. The ideal points for photography are indicated by camera icons and in some case with arrows showing the directions for photos of particular areas. Most of the photography points are through fences so choice of lens is important. The airport is not over enthusiastic about the use of steps so I am not going to recommend their use. There are some low fences and I have noted these on the plans.

overall layout:

and the stand numbers in the terminal area:

With the subsequent plans I’ve produced 5 different ones covering all the accessible locations and with accompanying notes. I’ve started with the Vulcan and Lancaster Bar and worked clockwise to the north side as that seemed a logical way to do it.

1: The Vulcan and Lancaster Bar area: this is the best area for viewing the runway 24 threshold for landings and take offs.
The Lancaster bar has a small car park which they are quite laid back about people using for short periods (and giving them a bit of trade will probably help repay that attitude) there is a dedicated track to the bar. The grass area in front of the bar has a fence on the north side which gives views of the Vulcan as well as the threshold, there are sometimes helicopters parked on the grass in front of the Vulcan as well. Close by is one of the pay car parks (I’ve numbered it 1 but that is my unofficial numbering). From the fence you have excellent views of the 24 threshold as well as the taxiway to/from the runway at that end which passes close by. Looking south the main apron is visible and the Lasham Hangar although that is more distant.

photo taken from the Lancaster bar
ImageEI-FBK by zeek_xvs1100

2: Old Terminal area
I’ve called this the old terminal area although the old terminal now handles business traffic but ‘older’ enthusiasts (like me) will probably remember as the main/only terminal.

There is a large pay and display car park (I’ve referred to it as car park 2) which has excellent views of the business apron in both directions and there is a further pay & display car park in front of the old terminal.
this is an example photo from the left hand photo point indicated by the fence in the car park
ImageOO-VLO by zeek_xvs1100

The retail park car park is free but time limited to about 1 hour and if you want to get an elevated view then the top floor of the Holiday Inn has a bar with views across the airport which can be used if you are buying drinks. Moving clockwise to Viscount House, this is about to be used by Jota but currently there are a few free spaces in front of Viscount House next to the fence which can be used for short duration stops. This location (whether parking or not) offers excellent views of the apron in all directions. examples:
looking to the left:
ImageES-AEA by zeek_xvs1100

straight ahead(ish)
ImageUR-CKC by zeek_xvs1100

to the right (in front of the old/business terminal)
ImageD-CURT by zeek_xvs1100

The bulding immediately to the left of Viscount House is currently unoccupied and locals use the car parking spaces there on an unofficial basis.
There is a (narrowish) road behind the Lasham hangar which leads to two of the flying clubs and image 3.

3: The south side flying clubs

There are 2 flying clubs located at the end of the road behind the Lasham hangar and there is a parking area which can be used for short duration parking located between the 2 as indicated on the image. The clubs are quite amenable to parking there however please do not park in the area by the round tank next to the 2nd flying club as members tend to park there and spaces are quite limited. There are good views of the runway and taxying aircraft from the parking area but next to the 2nd flying club is a low fence which does not interfere with photography and that gives excellent views of the taxiway (taxiway C). example photographs:
ImageYL-AEA by zeek_xvs1100

ImageEI-FBM by zeek_xvs1100

4: the 06 end of the runway.

The fairly recent runway extension has dramatically altered this area, the old road that passed the threshold is no more except for short sections either side of the runway stretching right up to the fence- however these are worth concentrating on. Starting on the south side there is a small free car park on the 2nd roundabout going away from the terminal area, this is the only easy place to park on the south side so a bit of walking is required. Backtracking along the road to the first roundabout turn left onto the old road and you can walk along the first part to the airfield fence, again it is high enough to impede photography so lens choice is important to avoid a pattern of square shadows on your images. There are good views of the runway towards the 24 end. There are some private houses along this road so please keep to the public land and do not go right to the end.
The alternative on the south side is an nicely elevated pathway which is reached by following the path in the opposite direction until it rises well above the road level (about a 5 or 10 minute walk depending on your speed). This point has excellent views of the 06 threshold and approach and you are high enough to be able to get pics well above the fence, you can also get take off shots on 24 as they lift off towards you:

Going round to the north side near the church, the old road also comes to an end against the fence and excellent views, albeit with a high fence, are available. There is unrestricted parking on the left hand (west) side of Aviation Way just a very short walk way.

5: Aviation Way and north side:

Aviation Way turns right by the sports club and the second road on the right enters Lancaster Business Park, the road continues right down to an aerial where you can get close views of the Air Livery ramp and also see most of the north side aircraft. One word of warning – the last part of that road is quite narrow so turning round may be difficult with a large car.
Example photo of the Air Livery ramp:
Image5Y-KYL by zeek_xvs1100

Back to Aviation Way and turn right, you come to the security gate and immediately before that on the right is a private car park which is normally unpatrolled and is used by employees of local businesses and plane spotters. This gives views of the parts of the north side other locations don’t and photography opportunities are quite good, the main problem being that the aircraft are sometimes very close together so shots become cluttered. You can also park on the road itself if you are unsure about using the car park.
Example photos:
ImageC-FLRJ by zeek_xvs1100

Imagesouhtens29-12-2010 141 by sickbag_andy, on Flickr

You can also get good views from the security gate especially from the road centre – if you are doing that ask the person in the booth first to ensure you will be okay there for a few minutes, the guys there are usually very friendly and co-operative.
Imagesouhtens29-12-2010 142 by sickbag_andy, on Flickr

A final note of warning – the footpath which runs from Aviation Way alongside the brook and across the taxiway (D) has now been closed by Essex County Council for safety reasons, the closure covers about 150 metres either side of the taxiway so the views once available there are no more.

I hope this is useful and if you can add more info or more photos please PM me or add photos as a reply to this topic with a note of the location
Andygolfer (or at least I was once), now just plane crazy

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Re: Southend viewing guide

Post by DaveSheffield » Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:28 pm

This is superb, I really need to get one done for my local!

I had no idea you could continue going behind the hangars and come out at the flying club, how tolerant are they of "non-locals" taking a few shots?
The name says Sheffield but I'm actually South Wales based now! Also often seen at Southend, Heathrow, Manchester and Birmingham.

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