Glasgow Airport Spotting Guide

Glasgow Airport , also unofficially Glasgow International Airport, (IATA: GLA, ICAO: EGPF), formerly ‘Abbotsinch Airport’, then ‘Renfrew Airport’, is an international airport in Scotland, located 6 nautical miles (11 km; 6.9 mi) west of Glasgow city centre. In 2015 the airport handled over 8.7 million passengers, a 12.9% annual increase, making it the second busiest in Scotland, after Edinburgh Airport, and the eighth busiest airport in the United Kingdom. It is the primary airport serving the west of Scotland and is the principal transatlantic and direct long-haul entry airport into Scotland.
The airport is owned and operated by AGS Airports which also owns and operates Aberdeen and Southampton Airports. It was previously owned and operated by Heathrow Airport Holdings (formerly known as BAA). The airport’s largest tenants are British Airways and Loganair (currently franchising using Flybe), the latter using it as a hub. Other major airlines using GLA as a base include Flybe, EasyJet, Jet2, Ryanair, Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomson Airways  Also Emirates operate twice daily and Virgin will operate from this year year round to KMCO Orlando
Glasgow airport also has football charters and sometimes Golf traffic too both bring in special planes. Also Glasgow is home to Loganair so the Saab 340s and two Twin otters are based there also. There is a site that gives day to day logs below

Written by Peter Adam / (Based in Scotland)

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Airline Variety
Photo Locations
Airport Information Runway  05 / 23
2’665m (8’743 ft)
Terminal Terminal 1 Terminal 2
Low cost terminal
Spotting Information Ladder Any UK Airport a ladder up against a fence is a bad idea and is forbidden. Beware Glasgow airport has a wire that at the fence sets a alarm if you touch the wire. You can take your pictures throw the fences but its not allowed to stay to much. Take the picture and then get back 1-2 meters from the fences.
Car Most of the spots are by foot except 1 but you need a car to go over the farm road far side.
Restrooms inside the terminal
Drinks/Food Inside the terminal plus there’s a 24 hour tesco and a gas station near by plus there is Campsie snacks beside spot 9 where you can buy hot food.
Hotels Around the airport some hotels could be found.
Season Mostly summer and when football is on as the airport gets Adhoc traffic  But winters are wet cold, dull and quiet.
Runway Usage 05 / 23
Runway 23  seems to be the runway used the most.


Spot #1 – Area J Royal Pan
WHERE Walk from the terminal past terminal 2 then follow the road past the BA offices you  there’s a road that goes past the cargo buildings before the BA hangars take the small road on your right then take 1st left at the roundabout  follow past the small houses then the area is on your left hand side past Signature.
WHAT Parked up Business jets taxing and helicopters landing departing. You need to shoot through the fence.
TIME From sunrise until 1500 hours pm depending on angle.
MISC. There is nothing close to this spot.
FOCAL LENGTH 70-200 mm

Spot #2 – Gate 3 / Area Romeo / runway 23 arrivals
WHERE From spot 1 this can be reached following down the road past the two new GAMA hangars.
WHAT Parked up jets on Romeo 23 landings  05 vacating shots. You need to shoot through the fence.
TIME 1000 until 1530
MISC. There is nothing close to this spot.
FOCAL LENGTH Bizjet parked 24-70mm / Taxi 70-200mm / Landing 70-200mm

Spot #3 – Crash gate 2 / Electricity box
WHERE 5 mins walk from spot .
WHAT 23 line ups 05 vacating shots 23 landing shots. You need to shoot through the fence.
TIME Head on from sunrise to 10 am Lined up landing 1000 am till 1530.
MISC. Bear in mind its a busy road so take care and also after heavy rain crash gate 2 gets flooded after rain so  there’s spots through the fence before the crash gate.

Spot #4 – The bridge / Landing lights
WHERE From the last spot follow the road north east then you will see traffic lights then its your 1st on the left if you drive there’s a small car park at the other side of the landing lights on your right hand side.
WHAT 23 arrivals.
TIME Am and pm depending what side your at also approach shots also.
MISC. There is a hotel nearby The Normandy Hotel with a restroom plus bar you can buy a drink etc.
FOCAL LENGTH 18-200mm, depending on motive.

Spot #5 – Yonderton Farm / Crash Gate 14 / 23 arrivals pm
WHERE From  the last spot follow the road west until the big roundabout then go left pass by the rolls royce plant on your right hand side follow the road until the end then take the 1st left then a few hundred meters take the 1st left again by car to the Strawberry farm  you need a car as its very far away.
WHAT 23 arrivals evening, summer only.
TIME After 1600 hrs the light gets good.
MISC. There is nothing here so take what you need   Plus if you come here watch your bag because the farmer has a dog so it will sniff and eat any food you have in your bag lying about.
FOCAL LENGTH 70-200mm Spot #6 – Taxiway Yanky
WHERE You pass this spot on your way  to the last spot 5  its the 1st crash gate you see before you go down to the crash gate  on your right hand side.
WHAT Bizjets parked up Longstay aircraft 23 departures with the terminal plus you get Loganair Saabs performing engine runes here to.
TIME Summer evenings and overcast day.
MISC. There is nothing here so take what you need.
FOCAL LENGTH 24-300mm Spot #7 – Crash gate / Runway 05 / Line ups Evening
WHERE This spot is on the cycle track from the next spot or from the last spot take a left from the farm road and follow the perimeter round this spot you will see on your left hand side.
WHAT Runway 05 head on shots Line up shots also  and 05 landing shot. You need to shoot through the fence.
TIME In the afternoon after 1500 hrs till sunset.
MISC. There is nothing here so take what you need. Plus its a dangerous road so watch yourself   and also depending on long grass some shots may not have wheels.
FOCAL LENGTH 18-200mm depending on motive. Spot #8 – The Cycle track / runway 05
WHERE From the terminal building follow up past Loganair until the Dead end Building site at end then take 1st left follow all the way till the end passing a nursery you will see football pitches on your right-hand side follow the small track round until you go through tree.
WHAT 05 Line up shots  05 Head on shots also. You need to shoot through the fence.
TIME From 1000 am till 1630 pm.
MISC. There is nothing here so take what you need.
FOCAL LENGTH 24-200mm depending on motive. Spot #9 – Loganair International Pier
WHERE 5 mins walk from international arrivals at the taxi rank  white cabs.
WHAT 23 departures 23 arrivals  aircraft pushing back. Close ups of aircraft parked up on 37 39. You need to shoot through the fence.
TIME Departing from sunrise till 1500 hrs / pushing back from 1100 until sunset.
MISC. There’s a campsie snacks here you can eat plus a hotel near by with a restroom.

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One thought on “Glasgow Airport Spotting Guide

  1. Woody

    Spot #5: To get there without a car take the McGill’s 757 bus bound for Clydebank. The bus leaves from Paisley and stops at the airport terminal. Get off at the Inchinnan Business Park and walk back. It’s not too far. Only 1km to the start of the farm road.

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