Glasgow Airport Movements 2017
As of this month I`ve added a link to the excellent ADS-B Exchange website which I`ve filtered to show Military aircraft only. Combined with Flightradar 24 which tracks mainly civil aircraft, this enables real-time tracking of the vast majority of flights in UK airspace. Many front-line fighters and other restricted flights still aren`t shown on ADS-B but many military transports including VIP jets, maritime patrol, trainers and helicopters usually are. For anyone unfamiliar with ADS-B, just click the blue radar icon on the right hand side of the screen for the live map. (Please note that for some reason if the ADS-B link is used via an iPad rather than a PC, the unfiltered version of the site may appear).
Continuing this year`s trend, Glasgow International experienced record breaking passenger figures for November with more than 682,800 travellers transiting the airport last month. Airport chiefs say this was a 2.5% increase on the same period last year. EU-scheduled services increased by 10.5% driven by strong demand on new Ryanair routes to Madrid, Lisbon, Valencia, Krakow, Frankfurt and Lufthansa’s Munich service. International traffic also grew by 6.2% which includes long-haul services to North America and Florida and the twice-daily Emirates’ service to Dubai was up 12%.
There appeared to be even more Santa flights on the run-up to Christmas this month compared to previous years with TUI and Enter Air jets tasked with shuttling the majority of the excited kids and accompanying adults to see Saint Nick in Lapland. Meanwhile, British Airways` eight remaining Boeing 767s which have been withdrawn from long-haul operations continue to soldier on and, as in previous years, one has operated an afternoon LHR Shuttle flight to Glasgow. The type is expected to be fully retired from BA service by the end of 2018 at the latest.
Despite widespread speculation, 2017 drew to a close with no announcement from Emirates HQ that the A380 will be used on its Dubai / Glasgow route next year, so it looks like it`s Triple-sevens only, at least for the time being. Closer to home, Flybe have decided to pull out of Sumburgh as of 8th January 2018. Many in the airline industry, and many locals who travel between the Scottish mainland and the islands, were sceptical as to whether the route could sustain two providers. Even so, there was widespread criticism after Flybe `pulled the plug` after just four months.
Flybe said that following a detailed review into the service, which is operated by its franchise partner Eastern Airways, the companies made a joint decision to end all flights to and from Shetland. Woeful passenger numbers. poor aircraft reliability, adverse weather, and ever-decreasing fares to attract customers contributed to the decision.
Their only rival on the island routes, Loganair said that competition had driven ticket prices down to unsustainable levels and caused heavy losses for both airlines. Flybe customers who had already booked to travel after the cut-off date will be offered a full refund or may be offered a flight with Loganair if space is available.
Vehicular access along the much of the airport`s perimeter was greatly restricted for almost a week with a major resurfacing operation taking place along the length of Barnsford Road, effectively ruling out photography from the western side of the airfield. The work to tarmac the often muddy footpath / cycle way through the Paisley Moss Nature Reserve was also completed on schedule before Christmas. Shots of the upgraded route are shown below...
There was some disruption on December 12th when Sub-zero temperatures and heavy rain in the afternoon caused a rapid formation of ice on the runway and taxiways as well as roads surrounding the airport. The 'flash freeze' resulted in seven flights diverted to either Edinburgh or Prestwick airports and the cancellation of four flights to and from London City Airport. Operations were suspended at Glasgow for 45 minutes while de-icing crews gritted the approaches to the airport, the runway and the network of roads airside.
Flash-freezing had caused similar problems at the terminal last month, when a tug collided with a British Airways jet after skidding on black ice. Landings and take-offs were suspended for 20 minutes on that occasion and six flights were diverted as a result.
December here was mainly dull and wet but winter struck further north at the beginning of the month resulting in some regions beyond the central belt and in the southwest of the country experiencing transport problems. The high tops were well-plastered and even the Kilpatrick Hills and Campsie Fells, at the southern edge of the area most affected, were white on occasions which made a nice backdrop for aircraft on approach for Runway 23 when the sun came out.
Towards the end of the month geese and ducks began to gather on the Black Cart Water beside the reed bed, close to the airport`s northern boundary. Apart from the geese, only two Whooper Swans and a Cormorant are visible in this shot taken on the afternoon of the 28th, with Mallard and Wigeon being the only duck species present. Perhaps the birds were seeking shelter having sensed the wintry weather that was about to come that night.
No White Christmas here again this year but a substantial amount of snow started falling just before first light on Friday 29th. Operations at Glasgow International were suspended for a time forcing incoming planes to take up a holding pattern while the runway, taxiways and aprons were cleared. There were a number of cancellations and several flights were diverted, either to Edinburgh or Prestwick.
Ground staff worked flat-out to combat the rapid build up of ice and snow and with Runway 05 in use, arriving aircraft had to queue on Taxiway Alpha until their allocated stand was cleared. This resulted in a considerable backlog which affected flights for the remainder of the day. By the afternoon though, the temperature rose and the snow soon turned to slush, with everything back to normal the next day. The following slideshow features shots taken on the 29th with some additional aircraft images from the same period included in the relevant sections below.
Despite the rapid thaw, it looked as though the Scottish weather wasn`t going to say farewell to 2017 quietly with Storm Dylan blowing in from the Atlantic on Hogmanay. Met Office weather warnings were issued and, as predicted, there was some travel disruption as driving rain and gales battered parts of Scotland. Fallen trees on railway lines saw trains cancelled or delayed and several West Coast ferry services were also affected. Fortunately the storm passed and was well on its way to Norway by `the Bells` allowing tens of thousands of revellers across the country to enjoy themselves outdoors on a cold but clear night. In the capital, the 9 minute-long firework display, set to music above Edinburgh Castle was the most spectacular to date.
SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) had issued flood warnings for some areas in southwest Scotland but these were later lifted. Rivers here were much higher than usual too with the Black Cart Water bursting its banks on the run-up to high tide which was about 11:00 hrs.
On Monday 4 December, Brussels Airlines Airbus A320-214 OO-SNF (f/v) in Tomorrowland Livery brought FC Anderlecht fans for their team`s Champions League match against Celtic at Parkhead. Although the Glasgow club failed to progress in the competition, their performance secured them a place in the Europa League with the first home game against Russian outfit Zenit St Petersburg scheduled for 15 February 2018.
The impressive looking Tomorrowland eagle wasn`t the only bird of prey to appear in the skies over Renfrewshire this month. The Sparrowhawk pictured here was very active during the week before the Belgian A320 appeared as, on separate days, I spotted it taking and demolishing two Goldfinches that had been coming to my garden feeders. Ten of these strikingly coloured wee birds were often seen together - now it`s a maximum of three!
Enter Air Boeing 737-8BK(WL) SP-ENV (f/v) arrived to operate the first of this winter`s Santa charters to Lapland, plus Boeing 737-33A(QC) G-POWC Titan Airways (1st); TUI Boeing 757-28A G-OOBA set-off on a Santa flight to Lapland, as did SP-ENV (2nd); Airbus A320-211 D-AIPA Lufthansa (f/v) (3rd); Airbus A320-214 OO-SNF Brussels Airlines (Tomorrowland Livery) (f/v) arrived with FC Anderlecht for a Champions League match against Celtic, plus Canadair CRJ-900D-ACNW Lufthansa (4th); Airbus A319-112 OO-SSC Brussels Airlines (Star Alliance colours) arrived with FC Anderlecht fans for the Celtic match, Boeing 757-330(WL) G-JMOF Thomas Cook (f/v) Santa charter to Kitilla, Lapland, TUI Boeing 757-204(WL) G-BYAY arrived and night-stopped for a Santa flight the following day, plus Boeing 757-23A(WL) G-LSAC Jet2 returning from Newark following an Xmas shopping charter. easyjet Europe A320-214s OE-IVL and OE-IVN are now based here. (5th)...
Boeing 757-256(WL) TF-FIU Icelandair (Aurora Borealis colours), Brussels Airlines` Airbus A320-214 OO-SNC (f/v) departed with FC Anderlecht and A319-111 OO-SSA departed with the team`s fans, plus A321-211 SP-HAZ Small Planet Airlines Poland (f/v) for a Santa charter departing on the 7th (6th)...
Boeing 777-31H(ER) A6-EPK Emirates (Expo 2020 livery) (7th), Boeing 737-8AS(WL) SP-ENP Enter Air (f/v) on a Santa flight to Lapland, plus Boeing 737-86J(WL) OM-GTF Go2Sky (f/v), Canadair Regional Jet CRJ-900LR D-ACKF Lufthansa (f/v) and Airbus A320-214 OE-IVF easyJet Europe (8th); Airbus A321-211 SP-HAZ Small Planet (Santa charter) (9th); Nothing of note today although fog and freezing temperatures saw a couple of diversions and several cancelled flights (10th); Boeing 737-8MG(WL) G-JZBE Jet2 (f/v) plus 5 Glasgow flights cancelled due to adverse winter weather (11th); Disruption to flights continued. Boeing 757-256(WL) TF-FIU Icelandair in Aurora Borealis colours was the only airliner of note (12th); A321-211 SP-HAZ Small Planet Airlines Poland (Santa flight), Bombardier CRJ-900LR D-ACKI (f/v) Lufthansa, plus two new Ryanair Boeing 737s EI-GDM (f/v) and EI-GDO (f/v) (13th); BAe146-RJ85 G-JOTR Jota Aviation worked
a BA Cityflyer flight, Airbus A320-214(WL) OE-IVE easyjet Europe (f/v) and CRJ-900LR D-ACKK Lufthansa (f/v) (15th)...
a BA Cityflyer flight, Airbus A320-214(WL) OE-IVE easyjet Europe (f/v) and CRJ-900LR D-ACKK Lufthansa (f/v) (15th)...
December`s jet airliner movements continued with Airbus A320-214(WL) G-EZRJ easyJet (f/v) (17th); all-white A321-211 G-POWN of Titan Airways (f/v) and CRJ-900LR D-ACKB Lufthansa (f/v) (18th); A320-214(WL) OE-IJH easyJet Europe (f/v) (19th); Bombardier CRJ-900LR D-ACNT CRJ900NG Lufthansa (20th); Embraer ERJ-190STD PH-EZX KLM Cityhopper (Skyteam colours), plus Enter Air Boeing 737-8ASs SP-ENM and SP-ENP both arrived for Santa flights to Lapland. It was a murky day across much of the central belt and Glasgow Airport took a couple of diversions, namely a Ryanair 737 and Aer Lingus ATR, from Edinburgh Airport which was fogbound but most of the other affected aircraft went to Prestwick which remained totally clear, unlike Glasgow. (21st); Enter Air Boeing 737-8AS(WL)s SP-ENP and SP-ENX Airbus, plus A319-114 D-AILD Lufthansa (22nd)...
Boeing 777-31H(ER) A6-EPP Emirates (Year of Zayed 2018 titles) and Boeing 737-8K2 PH-BXA KLM Retro colours (24th); Merry Christmas! The only movement of note today was Helvetic Airways Embraer ERJ-190LR HB-JVR (f/v) which covered the Eurowings flight (25th); Airbus A330-243 C-GUBC Air Transat (26th); Boeing 737-8AS(WL) EI-GDG Ryanair (f/v) (27th); No less than four Austrian-registered easyJet Europe aircraft appeared today, two of which were making their inaugural visit - Airbus A320-214(SL)s OE-IJF (f/v), OE-IVA, OE-IVN and A319-111 OE-LKH (f/v) plus Icelandair Boeing 757-256(WL) TF-FIR (80 Years of Icelandic Aviation livery) (28th); A319-111 OE-LKJ easyJet Europe (f/v) (29th); Airbus A319-111 G-EZIW easyJet (Linate - Fiumicino (Milan - Rome) livery) (31st).
Above: Boeing 737-8MG(WL) G-JZBE is a new addition to the Jet2 fleet having just been delivered to the airline at the beginning of this month. It flew from Seattle Boeing Field, King County International, on the 4th, arriving at Leeds Bradford Yeadon the following day. The aircraft, which has yet to be painted with Jet2 Holidays titles and the brand`s distinctive orange sun on the tail fin, appeared at Glasgow for the first time on December 11th.
Go2Sky Boeing 737-86J(WL) OM-GTF made its first appearance at Glasgow International on Friday 8th December. This Slovak airline has its HQ at Bratislava Airport and as of August this year its fleet comprised four 737s including this one. This aircraft, however, was bound for Sunrise Airways in Haiti, although I`m not sure whether it has been sold or is just starting a lease period.
Another couple of high-flyers, this time on the 28th: A British Airways Jumbo is on the left with United Airlines Boeing 767-322(ER) N664UA at 33,000 feet heading from Berlin to New York on the right.
Above left: Loganair Saab 2000 G-LGNT moments from touchdown on Runway 23 on 13 December and Saab 340B G-LGNB (above) lifting off on the 29th.
December didn`t see many noteworthy turboprops, just Sprintair ATR 72-202 SP-SPE (4th); ATR 72-202(F) EI-SLY ASL Airlines Ireland (f/v) (6th); and Skybus Britten-Norman BN-2B Islander G-BUBN which overshot Runway 23 on the afternoon of the 17th. Bombardier DHC-8-Q-402 Dash 8s operated the majority of this month`s Eurowings flights from Dusseldorf, with ex-Air Berlin aircraft being the norm, however, all-white D-ABQQ (above) with Eurowings titles appeared on the 27th. On Hogmany, Bombardier DHC-8-Q-402 D-ABQN (f/v) rounded-off the year (31st).
Sprintair ATR 72-202 SP-SPE, one of this month`s football related movements, arrived from Brussels on Monday 4 December and remained at Glasgow Airport until 13:00 hrs on Wednesday 6 December when it returned to Belgium with FC Anderlecht fans.
I saw Twin Otter G-BVVK minus Flybe titles for the first time on Thursday 28 December, although the underside of the fuselage is still sky blue. I assume that this aircraft is due to be repainted in Loganair`s new tartan colour scheme in the not too distant future. Eastern Airways BAe Jetstream 4100 G-MAJK, pictured lifting off on 8 December, is now in Flybe`s purple livery.
On 20 December Saab 340B G-LGNK had a shorter take-off run than usual at Glasgow, having started rolling at `Charlie One`.
A couple of Biz Jets stopped over from November, namely FlairJet`s Beech Nextant 400XTi G-FXKR and Bombardier Global 5000 N1DG (f/v) which arrived on the 29th. December`s movements kicked-off with Cessna Citation XLS+ G-JALS (1st); Bombardier Challenger 850 9H-YOU and Learjet 45 G-XJET (2nd); Citation XLS+ G-JALS returned and Learjet 35A D-CFOR (3rd); Bombardier Challenger 605 EI-WFI and Embraer Phenom 300 G-JMBO (4th); Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign G-SHUI, CitationJet CJ4 OO-CLA (f/v) and Citation XLS CS-DXJ (5th); Embraer ERJ-145LR F-HFKF Enhance Aero Group and Citation Mustang G-FFFC (plus other dates) (7th); Learjet 45 LX-EAA (8th); Gulfstream GV-SP (G550) N288A (f/v) (9th); Gulfstream G-V-SP (G550) CS-DKK Netjets Europe (11th)...
Bombardier Global 6000 EC-LTF and Cessna 550 Citation Bravo G-CGEI, both having arrived from Prestwick (12th); Bombardier Challenger 605 C-GSTG and Raytheon Hawker 750 CS-DUA NetJets Europe (13th); Two VIP-configured airliners called in, the first being Constellation Aviation Services Airbus A318-112(CJ) Elite A6-CAS which made a brief stop during the early hours and Boeing 737-505 9H-OME of Air X Charter which appeared in the afternoon. Plus Dassault Falcon 2000EX CS-DLH NetJets Europe, Honda HA-420 HondaJet D-ITIM (f/v), Citation Mustang OE-FWF and Learjet 35A D-CFOR (14th); Raytheon Hawker Beechjet 400XP N719EL and Gulfstream 150 D-CGEP (15th)...
Cessna Citation CJ2+ D-IMGW, CitationJet CJ2 D-INOB and Learjet 60 D-CFAF (16th); Hawker Beechcraft 390 Premier IA N865RM (f/v) (18th); Cessna Citation CJ2 D-IMAX and Citation XLS D-CGMR (19th); Bombardier Challenger 300 N184BK and Embraer Phenom 300 G-JMBO (20th); Learjet 45 G-XJET and Learjet 35A D-CTRI (24th); Learjet 60 D-CFAF, Honda HA-420 D-ITIM, Embraer Legacy 600 G-LEGC, plus A318-112(CJ) Elite A6-CAS returned (27th); Falcon DA2000EX CS-DLC, Cessna 680A Citation Sovereign CS-LAU (f/v), Raytheon Hawker 400XP N719EL returned and Learjet 60 D-CITA (28th); Embraer EMB-135BJ Legacy G-LEGC (29th); Embraer Legacy 500 G-SUEJ and Citation XLS G-ZENT (30th).
Diamond DA 42-MPP Twin Star G-ZATG (f/v) and Cirrus SR22 G-GCVV (1st); DA42 G-ZATG returned (3rd); Piper PA-34 Seneca II G-IFLP overshot (4th); Cessna 402B Utililiner G-NOSE (6th); King Air 90GTx G-MOSJ, King Air 200 G-FLYW and Cessna 421C Golden Eagle G-ISAR (7th); King Air 200 G-FLYW (plus other dates), AS365 Dauphin N2 G-CGGD and HM Coastguard AgustaWestland AW189 G-MCGP (8th); SOCATA TBM-910 N183WP and AgustaWestland AW189 G-MCGR HM Coastguard (12th); Piaggio P-180 Avanati D-IKSI (15th)...
King Air 200 G-NIAB (18th); AgustaWestland AW189 G-MCGP HM Coastguard (19th); PA-28 Cherokee Archer II G-BNGT made a high overfly of Runway 23 east to west (20th); Pilatus PC-12 G-NBCA (f/v) and Eurocopter EC135-T2+ G-SCAA (23rd); King Air 200 G-IASA and AgustaWestland AW189 G-MCGT HM Coastguard (24th); AW189 G-MCGT returned (25th); King Air 200 G-BGRE (26th); Pilatus PC-12 M-YBLS (27th); AW189 G-MCGP HM Coastguard (29th).
Just US Army Beechcraft C-12C Huron 73-1208 (f/v), call-sign `Titus 31, which arrived at 13:35 hrs on Monday 18 December and parked up overnight outside the Gama hangar. The aircraft, which had `United States of America` titles, took-off at 09:30 hrs on the 19th.
Please bear in mind that all my images are subject to copyright. They are not free to use and have been embedded with a digital watermark.