Plane spotting research project at Heathrow, Birmingham, Manchester and Amsterdam


New Member

My name’s Phil – I’m a Master’s student from London. For my dissertation I’m conducting a study on the history/evolution of plane spotting, focusing particularly on Heathrow and how the hobby has changed since the 9/11 attacks, the closure of official observation decks, the commercialisation of airports and the introduction of social media channels and new technologies such as Plane Finder. I‘m referring to plane spotting in the broad sense of taking photos, videos and/or writing down registration numbers of aircraft.

As part of the study I plan to spend time with spotters/enthusiasts at plane spotting locations (both official spaces and unofficial spaces around the perimeter of airports). In order to make comparisons between airports in terms of spotting opportunities I’ll be visiting Heathrow, Birmingham, Manchester and Amsterdam Schiphol over the next few weeks.

I’m fairly new to the world of plane spotting (although I’ve always been interested in aviation) and so I’m writing to see if anyone would like to meet me at any of the above airports to show me the ropes and share their knowledge, stories and experiences of plane spotting. Any amount of time that you could give would be much appreciated e.g. a morning or afternoon at Myrtle Avenue. I posted on this forum a few months ago seeking help on a similar but smaller project.

All participants will be made anonymous in the study.

If anyone is interested and would like to help out, I’d be delighted to hear from you.

Many thanks