George Best Belfast City Airport – Spotting Guide

George Best Belfast City Airport (IATA: BHD, ICAO: EGAC) is a single-runway airport in Belfast, County Antrim, United Kingdom. Situated adjacent to the Port of Belfast it is 3 mi (5 km) from Belfast City Centre. It shares the site with the Short Brothers/Bombardier aircraft manufacturing facility. The airport began commercial operations in 1983.

The airport was formerly known as “Belfast City Airport” until it was renamed in 2006 in memory of George Best, the professional footballer from Belfast. The airport handled over 2.7 million passengers in 2010, a record total for the airport, though the total was only slightly below 2.7 million in 2015.

The airport is a major base for Flybe, which began operations at the airport in 1993 and is now the largest operator at Belfast City. The airport has a CAA public use aerodrome licence (number P862) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction. Ground handling is provided by Swissport and Menzies Aviation. In 2012 Aer Lingus opened a base at the airport transferring operations from Belfast International Airport.

Its also worth mentioning that Flybe are the main flag carrier here so be prepared to see lots of dash 8s  and also due to the close proximity to the city then21:25  is the last flight due to niose restrictions

Written by Peter Adams (Based in Scotland)

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Airline Variety
Photo Locations
Weather
Airport Informations Runways 04/22
1.829m (6,001 ft)
Terminals Main Terminal
Spotting Informations Ladder Not needed.
Car Not needed.
Restrooms Only in the Terminal Building or Ikea.
Drinks/Food Yes all spots have nearby facilites except 1.
Hotels Around the Airport or in the City
Season I suggest April – September, chance of bad weather in winter is pretty high.
Runway Usage  02/22 Runway 22 is mostly used.

Spot #1 – The Bridge
WHERE From the terminal walk out and then take the 1st right. The spot is on a bridge which is located at RWY 04s end and is about 10 mins walk from the terminal building.
WHAT 04 landing shots, 04 line up shots, 22 departures and vacating shots. Also you can  see business jets parked up at the apron but if you enter the car park you will be moved on. This spot is also the famous spot where you get the harland wolf cranes in your 04 app shots.
TIME From 0930 until around 1530.
MISC. There is nothing nearby, so take what you need with you from the terminal.
FOCAL LENGTH 70-300mm, depending on motive.
Spot #2 – The  Taxiway Link
WHERE From the terminal go right and follow the perimeter fence. Pass the apron right hand side until the carpark. The spot is on a green field. You have to shot thorugh the mesh.
WHAT Close up planes taxing and vacating and entering runway 22.
TIME From 0930 until around 1530.
MISC. If you plan to use this spot then try and keep a low profile as security will move you on if they see you with a camera.
FOCAL LENGTH 18-200mm depending on motiv.
Spot #3 – IKEA
WHERE There is an IKEA furtniture store in the hollywood Exchange Terail Park. Bus no 27 will take you directly to this spot from the city centre. You can´t walk from the terminal to this spot along the perimeter. Climb up to  the multi storey car park to get a fantastic view on the runway. You can even visit the IKEA restaurant to see the runway.
WHAT Runway 22 landing, taxing and 04 departure shots from here.
TIME From 0930 until around 1530.
MISC. Everything within the IKEA.
FOCAL LENGTH 70-300 depending on motive.
 
  Spot #4 – The Turning Circle
WHERE From IKEAs carpark cross the road and walk to the turning circle. There is a small path between the bushes and a gap to see the runway action. You can shot over the fence from here as you are on a small mound.
WHAT Runway 22 touchdown spot and taxi shots also.
TIME From 0930 until around 1530.
MISC. On this spot also theres space for a few people so can get cramped when busy. Everything you need within the IKEA store.
FOCAL LENGTH 50-200mm  depending on motive.
Spot #5 – The Control Point
WHERE From the hollywood roundabout take the 1st right and pass a sainsburys on your righthand side. Follow the road round until it goes left to the ILS for 22. Position along the tagged line on the map for all arrivals to find your preferd angle.
WHAT Runway 22 arrivals only
TIME In the morning and afternoon depending on what side you are.
MISC. There is a supermarket nearby with restrooms etc. The gate and barriers on the road are no longer in use and always open.
FOCAL LENGTH 50-200mm  depending on motive.

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