Aircraft Spotting at Edinburgh City's Airfields and Airports

Spotting locations, viewing areas and advice on access for airports and airfields in Edinburgh City. Use the hotlinks above or scroll down for spotting information on spotting locations, airfield hangar access, aviation museums, preserved aircraft. Plus all the information has been plotted as Points of Interest and can be downloaded to your SatNavs and Google Earth to make planning your spotting trips abroad so much easier and helping you log many more

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Planespotting at the UK's Airports and Airfields has been plotted on Google Earth and can be uploaded to your SatNav - click to download
Over 620 UK airports plus 170+ preserved and stored aircraft - their locations, viewing spots, hotels and preserved aircraft can be seen on detailed satellite images, making planning your spotting trip exceptionally easy. All these spotting points of interest can be uploaded to your SatNav to give you another excellent resource to make your trip that much easier and more enjoyable. Please read the Download Instructions for example screenshots and further details

PRESERVED & STORED AIRCRAFT IN EDINBURGH CITY - its location is marked in the Spotting in the UK download

  • WZ773 Slingsby Grasshopper is stored at Edinburgh Academy on Kinnear Road. The front and rear sections are stored in separate buildings. The academy are friendly to visitors but you'll have to be escorted to see it and this will only be possible if someone is available. You can arrange your visit in advance to avoid disappointment.
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    EDINBURGH AIRPORT - TWR 118.7, APP 121.2

    Spotting in the UK v1.5 - 620+ UK locations, hotels, viewing areas and 170+ wrecks and relics have been plotted on Google Earth's detailed satellite imagery and can be added to your SatNav - click to download. Planning your spotting trip has never been easier. Please read the Download Instructions for example screenshots and further details

    General Spotting Info
    On A8, just off J1 M9, these viewing spots are marked in the Spotting in the UK download. Viewing is not easy landside though it is possible to view cargo, the Flybe and the biz from upstairs. You can walk to the other end of the terminal to see the ramp where Midland and others seem to park. The top floor of the main car park has excellent views of the GA ramp to the southeast but don't hang around up here. Excellent viewing airside with the new pier giving good views of the cargo and biz jet ramps though a lot of windows have been boarded up with pictures. G-BMXD F-27 is stored near the railway line near runway 30 threshold. TC-MBG F-27 is also stored. At the fire training area is C172 fuselage G-MALK on a trailer - it's only visible when taxiing in or out from runway 06/24 so keep an eye out for it.

    Bizjets and General Aviation
    For the ExecAir biz and GA terminal turn right at roundabout outside Airport Hilton (which is on access road to the airport from the A8) - usually has a few biz parked outside but a word of caution, they don't like spotters. Past here is the Caledonian Aviation maintenance hangar. Drive up to the right past this to their car park for the based light aircraft, and some that are on the Cargo terminal can be seen from here. The unmarked fuselage of EI-SLC ATR is stored behind the Air Contractors hangar.

    06/24 Movements - great for photographs
    1 - For great photographs of, and to log, 06/24 movements, upon leaving the terminal, turn right at the second roundabout (the one with the Hilton hotel off it) and turn right at the T-junction towards the Quality Hotel. Don't go into the hotel entrance, but instead, go virtually straight ahead (bearing very slightly left) and you'll be in the car park for the Ingliston Sunday market (so don't go on a Sunday). You can get very close to the runway here.

    2 - Head into Kirkliston and head east along Main Street from the main crossroads. At the end of the road is a crash gate. Park up sensibly, walk left of the crash gate following the fence and you will come to an opening and the mound - excellent for photographs and logging.

    3 - West side, the footbridge over the M9 has great views down runway 06/24 and a few stands.

    Cargo Terminal & Biz
    For Cargo, leave the airport and head towards Edinburgh on the A8. You'll come to a big roundabout at the end of the Edinburgh City Bypass (A720) with an underpass going through the middle of the roundabout. Take the underpass and you'll see a set of traffic lights. The Marriott Hotel is on the right hand side, also on the right is the Gyle shopping centre - a good place to leave family while you spot. Just before the traffic lights there is a slip road to the left (you'll see a shop called Marionville Models). Take this and turn left into Turnhouse Road. Follow this to the end where you will arrive next to the cargo ramp. You can also take landing shots from here if runway 24 is in use, which is the most common runway. Now if there is anything parked on Block 30, basically at the end of Runway 12/30, then here's where you get near enough to take photos. When coming along Turnhouse Road you first pass a factory on the right hand side. You'll go along for a bit, passing a farm again on the right. Then there is a road on the right (opposite a cottage on the left). This takes you down behind a farm and takes a 90 degree turn to the right onto an unpaved road. You cross a railway bridge and the road takes a 90 degree turn to the left. At that point there is a gate on the right from where it should be possible to photograph anything parked there. There are often bizjets parked here. If you fork left from Turnhouse Lane before you get to the right hand turn, this is Craigs Road and also has views of the biz parking on the old 30 threshold also known as Block 33. You can also view the GA and east apron from opposite the golf club and the GAT and helicopter parking area can also be seen through the foliage on the left just after you cross the railway line.

    Planespotting Hotels
  • The Holiday Inn Express (formerly Quality Inn) is ideal for spotting. It is located by the Highland Showground car park, which is one of the usual places to spot from. Only two storeys high, but with an airport facing room there are no obstructions so views are good. A 1st floor room would, of course, be the best.
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  • The Travelodge is alongside the A8 and just southwest of the runway 06 threshold. High up, north-facing rooms look right down the runway and have great views of all movements - the 3rd floor is the top floor, and odd numbered rooms from 301-315 have these great views. Taxis to and from the airport are very expensive, but there is a scheduled bus service.
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  • The DoubleTree by Hilton is just to the south of the terminal car parks and has views of the cargo ramp. It's within walking distance of the biz ramp and you could probably walk through the large car park here to the fence for further views.
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    EGPH Edinburgh Airport, Taxiway Alpha Edinburgh Forum
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    Spotting Info
    The National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street in Edinburgh city is open daily 1000-1700 and entry is free though donations are welcome. The museum houses 3 aircraft exhibits - BAPC-85 Weir W2, G-ACVA Kay 33/1 bolted to the wall and G-AXIG Bulldog suspended from the ceiling.


    Spotting Info
    Owned by the MoD but some private light aircraft are also based here. South of Kirknewton village, the entrance is on the B7031. Home of Scotland Aero Club and Air Cadet gliders, both friendly, ask for access. Any aircraft and gliders parked outside can be viewed from the B7031. If it's all locked up, there are gaps in the main flying club hangar.