Glasgow Intl (Abbotsinch)

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Last Validated 01-2009
City Glasgow
Position 55°52'19"N 004°26'00"W
Runway(s) 05/23, 10/28
Elevation 26 ft


Glasgow Airport is Scotland's principal long-haul gateway, with year-round flights to Canada, the United States and the Gulf. It handles about 90,000 movements a year. Being so far north in the UK, aircraft on a ferry flight from Europe to North America or vice versa can regularly be seen here. Transatlantic passenger traffic really picked up in 1990 when the monopoly of Prestwick to handle such traffic was lifted.


Glasgow has two runways, one main runway and a short crosswind runway. Only aircrfat up to the size of an ATP (or like that)are allowed to use this runway. The terminal area is on the southeastern side of the main runway, with cargo facilities immediately to the right. You can find the Loganair maintenance hangars on the left.

Getting There

The airport of Glasgow is located in the outskirts of the city, due west of the city centre, which can easily be reached via the M8 motorway.

The nearest rail station to the airport is Paisley Gilmour Street, which is just one mile from the terminal and easily reached by taxi or bus (services 66 and 300). There are direct rail services from Paisley Gilmour Street to Glasgow Central, Ayr and Clyde Coast destinations. When travelling to the airport from any station in Scotland, simply ask for a rail ticket to Glasgow Airport. The ticket will be valid on the train to Paisley Gilmour Street and the Arriva bus service from Paisley to the airport.

The Arriva Glasgow Flyer (service 500) provides a high-frequency bus service to and from Glasgow City Centre and Buchanan bus station (departs from stand 46). Services run up to Glasgow every ten minutes and journey time is 15 minutes to Glasgow Central rail station or 25 minutes to the bus station. Services 747 and 757 also bring you to Glasgow city centre.

Around the Airport


The spotters tend to congregate (at least during weekends) on the first floor of the terminal, close to the Celtic Shop. It is one of the few remaining areas where you can still look airside from within the terminal. It offers restricted views of Apron L (domestic). Airlines flying to the Highlands and Islands, Channel Islands and Ireland can be seen here, as well as bmibaby and easyJet. If you are a photographer as well, you are better off at various points around the perimeter fence.

2Terminal area

Close to the terminal building, there are good views of the west side of the international pier (Apron N) and arriving taxiing aircraft between the blast fence and taxi park. There is also a snack corner offering coffee and simple snacks at this point.

3Taxiway holding runway 05

The emergency access gate close to the threshold of Runway 05 and along the fence to the left, are excellent for taxi, holding and landing shots when runway 05 is in use. This is situated at the far west of the airport, beyond the Loganair hangar on St Andrews Crescent. West of the gate, the area known as 'the mound' in the contractor's dumping ground, is a popular spot for photographers with an elevated outlook onto the runway and taxiways.

4Finals runway 05

Somewhat further west, there is a public walkway/cycle path with excellent views of the runway 05 threshold. Landings shots can easily be made from here. This path cannot be accessed from spot 3. You will have to go to Barnsford Road, which goes around the runway 05 from the St James interchange of the M8 motorway. No long-stay parking seems to be available here, though.

5Glasgow Flying Club

On the north side, Walkinshaw Road between the Glasgow Flying Club and East Yonderton Farm, provides good views of the runways and terminal area. Photography is limited to late afternoons, unless you do not mind taking pictures into the sun. At the end of the road, the emergency access gate affords excellent views of the landing action on runway 23. Access is from Barnsford Road, close to the finals of crosswind runway 09.

6Taxiway holding runway 23

There are two emergency access gates along Abbotsinch Road, one where the marker is placed and one closer to the holding point. You can get excellent views of landing/departing aircraft on runway 23, very close on the taxiway and somewhat further at the holding point and on the runway. No parking is allowed near these gates, nor in the neighbourhood. The spot is about a one-mile walk after turning left outside the terminal.


121.700Glasgow Ground
118.800Glasgow Tower
119.100Glasgow Radar/Approach
119.300/121.300Glasgow Radar (as directed by ATC)
121.600Glasgow Fire

Based Operators

Civil operators
LoganairBN-2B, DHC-6, Saab 340A/B
PDG HelicoptersAS350/355, Bo105DB
SA315, SA365
Military operators
Glasgow UASTutor T1
4AEFTutor T1

More Info

Glasgow Airport LogsLocal spotters' website with logs, residents, expected flights and more.
FlyGlasgowDirectAnother enthusiast's page, with photos, brief history and links.
Official websiteThe official website of the airport, of the BAA-British Airports Authority

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