Officially “Ministry of Defence (MOD) St. Athan Airport” is a small airport in South Wales, mainly used for scrapping of airliners. The airport was used to be a fully military airfield with the airport codes (DGX/EGDX), but partly became civil while a rest remained used by authorities – the northwest of the airfield, referred to as Ministry of Defence property which explains why MOD St. Athan is sometimes used. With the civil development here, the airport code changed to (DGX/EGSY) now, some sources even say that St. Athan has no 3-digit-code anymore.
The main attraction here is neither the airport`s digit-code, nor the partly military area in the northwest – it is the traffic coming in for scrapping. The aircraft types here can vary from small to large – A319 up to B744 are regularly coming here on their last flight. In addition, the airlines and thus liveries vary a lot as the airport is used by aircraft from all over the world which makes it easy to see some rare movements from time to time. It is also home to eCube and Caerdav, as well as Horizon flight school, which all brings the airport some small prop movements.
Written by Jamie Woodhouse-Wright. Last Update: 2020
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|07/25||1828m – Asphalt|
|Ladder||Needed at the NPAS Road Spot #1.|
|Car/Public Transport||Car needed for all spots except cowbridge road (Spot 3), 303/3054 bus available.|
|Drinks/Food||On weekends at the South Wales Aviation Museum 5 min drive plus shops in town during the week/weekends.|
|Hotels||No spotter hotels around directly.|
|Season||Useable all year round. Summer has better weather and longer sunshine duration, but can suffer from haze at spot 1. During autumn/winter one can suffer from low cloud base and diversions = bad weather.|
|Security||Police is friendly, but avoid taking pictures of the buildings and putting ladders against the fence – only put up ladders once really needed, avoid attention in general! And do not block any gates or roads etc. to keep it cool with the local residents as well of course.|
|General Info||07/25 used for all movements, no real preferred direction.|
|Spot #1 – NPAS Road – All 07/25 movements + nearby taxiways|
|WHERE||This spot is located along the unnamed road which is normally used to access the NPAS and Coastguard. You can approach it by driving from St. Athan all the way eastwards on Llantwid Road. There is plenty of parking along road and on the gravel area by crash gate – do not block road, crash gate or farmers gate, park responsibly.|
|WHAT||All runway movements on 07/25 plus nearby tows or taxies.|
|TIME||All day in winter, morning till early afternoon in summer. Best in late summer through to early spring thus.|
|MISC.||This location can suffer from heat haze in summer plus a ladder is required if you want to avoid to shoot through fence with dark corners. But keep a low profile, only put the ladder up once needed, sensible spot!
It is a five minutes drive from shops, park sensibly and poilce are fine, dont block gates and access to the farm.
|Spot #2 – B4265 – 07 Arrivals|
|WHERE||+++ JUL 2021: Spot is inaccessible due to the track vehicles taking up all of the parking area and thus disturbing the spot’s usage +++
Location can be found along the B4265 at the end of the runway next to the railway track, thus there is only limited layby parking space. No access by foot or public transport!
|WHAT||07 Arrivals only.|
|TIME||Actually useable all day as you can easily switch sides by simply walking along the road here.|
|MISC.||Limited parking in laybys, no facilities around.|
Unluckily we cannot provide any example pictures as of now. Please do not hesitate to send us some if you do have some taken here.
|Spot #3 – Cowbridge road – 25 Arrivals|
|WHERE||This spot is rather the area along Cowbridge road than just one exact location. Position yourself on the mentioned street at the end of runway 25, where you will have a large area and thus variety of different angles/shots. Side shots e.g. can be achieved from the golf club, which is located off this road a few hundred yards north.
You can park on the grassy area/by the roadside or also in the village and walk – otherwise feel free to use bus 303/3054.
|WHAT||Good for 25 arrivals only.|
|TIME||Actualy useable all day as you can easiyl switch sides by simply walking along the road here.|
|MISC.||shops a short walk, best to park in the village, if parked on the grass there is a possibility of getting moved by police|