Guide to London Stansted Airport

Contributors: dan330, Sairento, UK321
Updated Monday 2nd January, 2012


Latitude: N51° 53' 9"
Longitude E0° 14' 21"

Sunrise Today: 07:03
Sunset Today: 17:22

London Stansted is a major airport in the United Kingdom for low cost carriers, mainly EasyJet and Ryanair. Ryanair have a huge operation there with around 120 departures each day through the summer months. London Stansted is frequently visited by airlines such as Air Berlin, BmiBaby, Germanwings, Pegasus Airlines amongst many others which cannot be seen at the majority of airports in the United Kingdom. The airport is also one of the largest cargo bases in the country and often handles aircraft such as the McDonnell Douglas MD-11, Boeing 777 and often sees the Boeing 747, operated by several cargo carriers.

All of this sounds great, however London Stansted is limited with the amount of areas to view from and are not as close to the runway as many airports due to the size of the airport. As London Stansted is owned by BAA this is a situation that is very unlikely to change, however BAA is being forced to sell the airport. London Stansted is still however an exceptionally good airport to view aircraft, considering its size. There are several spots that aircraft can clearly be seen, photographed or videoed.

Unfortunately there are a few bumbs and slopes in the terrain meaning the runway cannot be seen from a few areas, however aircraft navigation on the aprons, taxiways and on the runway can be seen clearly from nearly all areas. Despite the fact that there are a few of ways London Stansted could be improved for plane spotters, it's probably the best airport to spot at in the London area and the Southeast of England. This is because the airport is located in a fairly rural location and airport staff don't seem to have any problems with plane spotters, as long as there is no suspcious behavior and emergency gates are kept clear.

It's definitely worth visiting London Stansted a few times a year to view the exciting aircraft it operates. Do not let the slight disadvantages like the distance from the runway or the slightly uneven terrain put you off visiting the airport, it's not a huge problem at all!

There is also a Plane Watch Scheme run for regular spotters by Essex Police. Information for which can be found here

Radio Frequencies Radio Frequencies

Essex Radar: 120.625
Stansted Director: 126.950
Tower: 123.800
Ground: 121.725
Clearance Delivery: 121.950
ATIS: 127.175

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London Stansted Airport Weather

All times on the weather descriptions are local

Observed at 00:00 - (8 days 14 hrs ago)


Dew Point: °C
Runway in Use: Unable to determine, wind is clam


A sample of the upcoming movements for London Stansted.

We do not current have any movements for London Stansted Airport.

Photo Spot Spot A - Green Street

This spot is just off Green Street, in a field (use the map to view directions to get there). This spot is at the north east end of the runway, therefore aircraft arriving on runway 22 or departing from runway 04 will pass over the field. This location is only worth visiting to view arrivals to runway 22, as departures from runway 04 are much higher up by the time the pass over the field. Thankfully runway 22 is used much more often (about 70% of the time).

You can get some excellent shots of aircraft arriving on runway 22 and some reasonable ones of runway 04 departures. Unfortunately barely any ground shots can be had from here as the runway is fairly set back with a very slight hill and the perimeter fence in the way. Despite this, aircraft can still be seen on the some taxiways, on the runway, touching down and taking off. This location is quite far from any major road so you can get some excellent video footage which is not ruined by road/motoway noise and giving this spot a calm and peaceful atmosphere.

There is plenty of space to park your car at the end of the road and there are no car parking charges or restrictions. You can stay here as long as you like as the airport staff don't have any problems with you being there unless you don't keep the emergency gate clear, so you're extremely unlikely to be told to move away.

Sat Nav Co-ordinates
(Some locations may not be next to a road but the sat nav should get you pretty close using these co-ordinates)

Latitude: N51° 54' 1" (N51° 54.017')
Longitude: E0° 15' 26" (E0° 15.429')


Photo 22937
Photo 22910
Photo 22904
Photo 22903

View more photos taken at this location

Photo Spot Spot B - Belmer Road

This spot is just off Belmer Road, immediately behind the row of trees (use the map to view directions to get there). This area is to the north west of the airport where aircraft will arrive, depart and taxi infront of you. The benefit of this spot is that it's very good for both runway directions, however runway 22 is slightly better, mainly because the majority of the airport activity is closer to you.

You can get some reasonable ground shots and some excellent arrival and departure shots from here. In a few places this spot is elevated enough so you can see over the perimeter fence with no problems. It may be beneficial though to take a small step ladder just to raise you that extra 3 feet or so to allow you to see over the fence in all areas. The fence is not a problem for just viewing the aircraft, it just makes photography more difficult to gain at a higher standard, it's also possible though to fit a camera lens through the gaps in the fence. This location is also not too close to any major road meaning you can get some fantastic video footage which is not ruined by road/motorway noise and giving this spot a calm and peaceful atmosphere.

This spot has plenty of car parking, at the side of Belmer Road, and there are no car parking charges or restrictions. The airport staff have no issues with you being there, so you can stay as long as you like with no problems at all.

This is probably the best spot that London Stansted has to offer and it's likely you'll be very satisfied here. Although not a tourist/visitor attraction, many people take fold up deck chairs and blankets to sit on as well as flasks of hot drinks or a picnic to this area as you can get an excellent day out here.

Sat Nav Co-ordinates
(Some locations may not be next to a road but the sat nav should get you pretty close using these co-ordinates)

Latitude: N51° 53' 33" (N51° 53.546')
Longitude: E0° 14' 25" (E0° 14.414')


Photo 46360
Focal Length: 130mm
Photo 46359
Focal Length: 140mm
Photo 46358
Focal Length: 110mm
Photo 46351
Focal Length: 135mm

View more photos taken at this location

Photo Spot Spot C - Long Border Road

This spot is just off Long Border Road, close to the Hilton hotel (use the map to view directions to get there). This spot is at the south west end of the runway, therefore aircraft arriving on runway 04 or departing from runway 22 will pass over this area. This location is best to view arrivals to runway 04.

You can get some excellent shots of aircraft arriving on runway 04 and some fairly good ones of runway 22 departures. Ground shots can also be had from here although aircraft are not very close and do not often taxi beyond taxiway K. This area is elevated and is not at all obstructed by trees or the perimetre fence, making ground shots much easier to get. This spot is not too far off some major roads including the A120 and so video footage can very occasionally be disturbed by road/motorway noise.

This area is very restricted to where you can park your car, the best two options are to park at the Hilton hotel or Long stay car park. This of course means car parking requires a charge but isn't restricted. You can stay here as long as you like as airport staff don't have any problems with you being there, so you're extremely unlikely to be told to move away.

Sat Nav Co-ordinates
(Some locations may not be next to a road but the sat nav should get you pretty close using these co-ordinates)

Latitude: N51° 52' 28" (N51° 52.461')
Longitude: E0° 12' 55" (E0° 12.916')

Comments Comments About This Airport / Guide

Posted by: Toby Cook United Kingdom
Monday 14th January, 2019 at 13:14 GMT
Stansted has an airport spotters are but its only available on the first Saturday of each month, you can find it here:
Posted by: Mick Fowler United Kingdom
Friday 13th April, 2018 at 16:42 GMT
Spot A mentioned at Stansted.... Recently airport security have told everyone that parks there to move on. They have said it is airport property and we have no rights to be there. I'm not sure they are right as it is a public road and has access at the end to farm land. I wish BAA at Stansted would at least recognise that spectators want to view planes safely in an official area and not have to "run the gauntlet" at these unauthorised viewing locations. They have a good spectator viewing area at Heathrow - why not Stansted!
Posted by: Bruce United Kingdom
Friday 15th July, 2016 at 20:37 GMT
Is there a website to get Registrations of aircraft visiting Stansted
Posted by: john flynn Ireland
Saturday 15th August, 2015 at 16:38 GMT
can you walk to spot A and how long would it take to walk as i will not have a car the day doing a cheap day return with ryanair
Posted by: Andy Poland
Thursday 13th August, 2015 at 19:44 GMT
Hi! I`m going to arrange a spotting session at STN :) Got a question about the "A & B" points: aren`t they in front of the sun? Won`t the shots be BL? How far are they from the terminal? How long time takes to get there on feet? Thanks in advance:)
Posted by: Aaron United Kingdom
Saturday 12th July, 2014 at 08:22 GMT
Hi im 15 and live in Bury St Edmunds I need to take pictures of planes in the summer holidays for my art final piece does anyone know where he best place to take them from is

Posted by: Jaime United Kingdom
Friday 30th May, 2014 at 13:34 GMT
Hello, I live in MAldon, Essex, Does anyone have more of a list of frequencies that I could listen to ?? the busiest seems to be 134.900 but there is no clarity what or who uses it. thankyou. my mail is
Posted by: Jamie United Kingdom
Monday 4th November, 2013 at 19:41 GMT
Great to find this website. My girlfriend is obsessed with planes so thought I'd take her for a picnic at Belmer Road. Can anyone tell me how busy it gets? Should I be turning up at 7am to get a good spot or can we just rock up around lunchtime and get a reasonable spot?

Posted by: Dave United Kingdom
Tuesday 24th September, 2013 at 10:51 GMT
I went there yesterday, parked down the end of Green Street, not blocking the road or the gate in any way. After a while a police car arrived and the policeman driver asked me what I was doing - I told him I was taking some photos and videos of the planes. He said we prefer plane spotters to use Belmer Road, we and the airport don't like you doing it here. He said he wasn't TELLING me to move, but he made it clear he wanted me to. He said that if my car was left unattended it could potentially be towed away??
Posted by: ian United Kingdom
Sunday 25th August, 2013 at 16:07 GMT
Great place to get some photos, find it best to walk across the grass and take photos from there to avoid under belly shots.
Posted by: lol United Kingdom
Friday 26th April, 2013 at 16:01 GMT
Posted by: Ruud Netherlands
Wednesday 17th April, 2013 at 09:12 GMT
The example photos taken at spot A, where are they exactly taken? I was there yesterday, but when you are at the crashgate, they airplanes fly over your so you can't get a good photo of it.
Posted by: Frank United Kingdom
Monday 25th March, 2013 at 19:26 GMT
Hi, Your picture of " Slovenia Government Flying Service Tupolev Tu-154M OM-BYO "
is infact a Slovak plane which I often see parked at Bratislava airport,Slovakia, also OM is the Slovak call letters.

Kind Regards
Posted by: Daniel Ranson United Kingdom
Sunday 2nd September, 2012 at 19:23 GMT
Hello David Wright,

The 'green rocket-like' plane parked on the North side of the runway is a plane that is used by the airport fire brigade to practice on. I am a ramp agent at Stansted and regularly see them practicing extinguishing fires.

Posted by: Derek Wight United Kingdom
Wednesday 13th June, 2012 at 09:18 GMT
What is the history of the rusting green 'rocket-like' plane parked on the North side of the runway at Stansted?
Posted by: David Harding United Kingdom
Monday 16th April, 2012 at 18:30 GMT
Stansted by the way has no official observation point or terrace which is correctly commented below. Stansted does however have exceptionally good views of aircraft from the satellite buildings (where the gates are) which does mean of course you have to actually being flying somwhere to get here as it's airside and not open to the general public. So if you're flying from Stansted and want to see aircraft well whilst waiting, there's no need for a terrace, just go to your gate ASAP and you'll get a great view. Especially when runway 22 is in use as it mostly is and of course apron activity can also be seen extremely well.
Posted by: Stansted ATCO United Kingdom
Friday 24th February, 2012 at 10:05 GMT
'Green Bizjet' -I'm fairly sure you're talking about M-ESGR?
Posted by: m moule United Kingdom
Thursday 23rd February, 2012 at 15:44 GMT
does anyone know the reg of the green bizjet at stanstead on the 22 feb
Posted by: David Harding United Kingdom
Friday 2nd September, 2011 at 14:24 GMT
The place Flyboeing mentioned is good but only really for apron activity and ground shots. As far as I know you are not allowed to spot from the bridge but as mentioned inbetween the bridge and terminal building is allowed. From here whne runway 22 is in use you can only see aircraft on short final/landing and on upwind heading away from you, so quite far away. When runway 04 is in use, you can see them on final (again quite far away) but see them much closer and more clearly when on upwind. But to see aircraft on the ground/stands and pushing back etc. then this is your best bet!
Posted by: Flyboeing Netherlands
Thursday 25th August, 2011 at 07:56 GMT
There is no official spotting area, like a terrace or something. Also inside the terminal there is no area for spotting.

If you want to stay close to the terminal, you leave the terminal in the south direction (to the control tower). Next to the terminal is a small pedestrian bridge (to the police station) and between the bridge and the terminal you can spot some aircraft.

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