Glasgow Airport Movements 2021
Although May at Glasgow International, usually one of the busiest months of the year, was very quiet movement-wise this time, more importantly things began to look hopeful on numerous fronts in the battle against COVID-19. Lockdown easing continued as infections and related hospital admissions plummeted, despite concerns over yet another mutation, the Indian Variant. The vaccines already being administered in the UK are said to be just as effective in combating this new strain which is capable of spreading at a far faster rate than standard Coronavirus. As of Monday 24 May 2021, some non-essential international flights were permitted to operate to and from Scottish Airports, provided the countries involved weren`t on the government`s red list, but these airliners initially mainly departed from Edinburgh and Prestwick.
On another positive note, after a delay of almost six months, the new cyclist / pedestrian bridge over the Black Cart Water was finally lifted into place...
More shots of the new crossing can be found in the Construction & Development section below.
These views and the preceding shots taken around the terminal were all snapped mid-morning on Monday, 31 May, probably the quietest Spring Bank Holiday since the airport opened in 1966. But hopefully, by this time next year, the height of the COVID nightmare will be a distant memory, with millions more people vaccinated, flights to numerous destinations available once again, and passenger numbers robustly on the increase.
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.
On Saturday 1 May 2021, the following based charter airliners were in storage here: G-DRTC, G-DRTF, G-DRTH, G-DRTW, G-JZBD, G-JZBF, G-JZHL, and G-JZHW - all Boeing 737s from the Jet 2 fleet, plus TUI Boeing 737 G-TAWN pictured above. This aircraft is still in Sunwing markings following its return after lease.
Traffic traditionally ramps up in May and in addition to the numerous holiday flights operated by airliners from UK carriers, a crop of interesting visitors can usually be expected. It was no surprise though to find that these were few and far between this time round, although British Airways Boeing 777-236(ER) G-YMMT operated a cargo flight from Bangkok on 9 May, partially unloading here before heading down to Heathrow. Boeing 777-236ER G-YMMA (f/v) did likewise the following day (10th), then its was G-YMMR`s (f/v) turn on the 11th.
Next was Embraer ERJ-190STD PH-EZX in KLM Cityhopper (Star Alliance colours), plus BA Boeing 777-236(ER) G-YMMT returned (22nd). Triple-seven 236(ER) G-YMMR made its second visit delivering yet more PPE on the 23rd. On May 27, Air Horizont Boeing 737-484 9H-MPW arrived to take the Scotland international football team to a training camp in Alicante, Spain, in preparation for the Euro Championships next month, plus ex Alaska Airlines Airbus A320-214 N623VA (f/v) stopped off en route to Spain on delivery to Volotea.
Loganair Embraer ERJ-135ER G-SAJR outside the company hangar on May 26.
Above: British Airways Triple-Seven-200 G-YMMT made its second PPE cargo run from Bangkok to Glasgow this month on Saturday 22 May.
Embraer ERJ-190STD PH-EZG of KLM Cityhopper heads for the terminal after landing on May 26.
This is ex-Alaska Airlines Airbus A320-214 N623VA (f/v) which arrived from Bangor, Maine, early evening on May 27 for an overnight stop. This is the second such aircraft destined for Spanish carrier Volotea to appear at Glasgow, both crews breaking their journeys between the USA and Spain here. Although this latest A320, like its predecessor, retained its American registration, once again, the new owner`s livery had already been applied stateside, which was a bit of a disappointment for local enthusiasts.
Very quiet in this category, although Loganair ATR 42-500 G-LMRA visited on the 21st, making a change from the company`s based Saab 340 and Twin Otter aircraft. `RA returned on the 24th, along with G-LMRC, then again on its own on the 28th and 31st. The following shot of FedEx ATR 72-202(F) EI-FXI of ASL Airlines Ireland was taken on Tuesday 4 May 2021. The ATRs of Aer Lingus Regional also continued to operate throughout the month.
CitationJet CJ2 G-NOCM, pictured above on May 23, is based here with Air Charter Scotland and therefore its comings and goings aren`t recorded.
First biz-jet to make an appearance this month was Bombardier Challenger 350 CS-CHE which landed at 15:20 hrs on 1 May and night-stopped (1st);Cessna Citation XLS G-NJAA (f/v) (2nd); Learjet 75 G-USHA of Zenith Aviation and Cessna CitationJet CJ2 G-SOVZ (3rd); Embraer Legacy 500 G-ESNA Air Charter Scotland (4th); Cessna Citation XLS G-NJAA (plus further visits) and Citation Bravo G-CMBC (5th); Gulfstream GIV-SP N475LC, Embraer EMB 505 Phenom 300s CS-PHC and G-HNPN, Cessna Citation XLS+ G-CKUB, plus CitationJet CJ4 OE-GSX (f/v) (7th); Phenom 300 G-HNPN returned (9th); Cessna Citation XLS CS-DXP (10th); Phenom 300 G-JMBO, CitationJet CJ4 M-KNOX and Eclipse Aviation Eclipse 500 2-CLRK (11th); CitationJet CJ4 M-KNOX again (plus other dates) and Citation M2 SE-RVZ (f/v) (12th)...
Cessna CitationJet CJ2 G-SOVZ and Phenom 300 G-JMBO (plus other dates) (13th); Citation Bravo G-CMBC (14th); Citation M2 G-CMTO (and further visits) (18th); Gulfstream IV-SP N475LC, Learjet 45 G-SOVB, and CitationJet CJ4 OO-CLA of Luxaviation Belgium (19th); Raytheon 390 Premier 1A D-IEMO (20th); Raytheon Hawker 750 9H-BSA (21st); Cessna Citation Excel CS-DXU (26th); Dassault Falcon 2000 M-CKSB (f/v) (27th); Dassault Falcon 7X G-MATO arrived from Farnborough, Citation Bravo G-SPRE, plus CitationJet CJ1s N260AM (f/v) and G-KION (28th); Learjet 45 LX-RSQ, CitationJet CJ2 D-IWIR (f/v) and CitationJet CJ3 2-TEAM (f/v) (29th); Raytheon Hawker 800XP N838BB (f/v) (30th) and finally, Dassault Falcon 2000EX CS-DLK (31st).
Above: Gulfstream IV-SP N475LC flew in from Fayetteville, North Carolina, early evening on Wednesday 19 May.
Air Charter Scotland`s Embraer Legacy 500 G-ESNA was the only corporate visitor on May 4.
Cessna Citation Excels CS-DXU and G-NJAA joined resident CitationJet CJ2 G-NOCM for a time on May 26.
Dassault Falcon 2000 M-CKSB made its first visit to Glasgow Airport on May 28, landing just a few minutes behind the ex-Alaska Airlines A320.
Two Cessna Citation Excels flew in on Wednesday 26 May 2021, the first being CS-DXU (see below) which is operated by NetJets Europe.
The Portuguese-registered executive jet was followed soon after by G-NJAA (above) which visited Glasgow Airport several times this month.
Below: A pair of first-time visitors from the US-register, both snapped on Area J on 31 May: CitationJet CJ1 N260AM and Raytheon Hawker 800XP N838BB.
Lastly, two shots from Walkinshaw Road on a dull morning: Learjet 45 LX-RSQ and Dassault Falcon 7X G-MATO which had arrived from Farnborough...
Diamond DA62 G-JAAM made its first appearance at Glasgow Airport on 25 May. It`s pictured above departing for the Isle of Man the next morning.
Night stopping into May from 30 April was Irish-registered Piper PA-28 Cherokee EI-CIF, which I believe is now based at the Flying Club. The airport`s first GA visitors in May were King Air 200 G-CIFE and Diamond DA42 Twin Star G-DJET. Also, Cessna 152 G-CJPN overflew the airfield from west to east at 13:10 hrs (1st); Sikorsky S-92A G-MCGK HM Coastguard `Rescue 936` (2nd); Bell 206L Long Ranger II G-LONE overflew South to North at 13:05 hrs (4th); Aerospatiale AS355F1 Ecureuil II G-BPRJ landed for a time, Eurocopter EC145 T2 G-TAJB overflew South to North at 11:45, plus PA-34 Seneca G-GSYS and PA-28 Cherokee Archer II G-ZOFG made overshoots (5th); Cessna 172R G-BXSE (f/v), Agusta AW109SP Grand New G-MOAL and AW189 G-MCGR HM Coastguard (6th); Pilatus PC-12 G-OMSL (7th); King Air 200s G-REXA and N200BY (f/v), plus AW189 G-MCGR HM Coastguard (8th); King Air 200s M-LENR, M-CDBM and G-NIAA (10th)...
Beech King Air 90GTx N95VB, Pilatus PC-12 LX-JFD (f/v), plus Piper PA-34 Seneca V G-GSYS overshot Runway 23 at 11:30 hrs (11th); King Air 200s M-LENR, M-CDBM and G-IASB (12th); Pilatus PC-12 LX-JFE, King Air 200 G-JASS, Diamond Aircraft DA-62 2-SALE, Sikorsky S-92A G-MCGG HM Coastguard, plus Seneca G-GSYS appeared for another overshoot (13th); King Air 200 G-IASB (also visited later in the month), plus SOCATA TB20 Trinidad G-CORB (f/v) and TB10 Tobago G-BGXD (f/v) (14th); Pilatus PC-12 9H-WIT, plus King Air 200s G-IASA and G-IASC (18th); King Air 350 G-SRBM, Diamond Aircraft DA62 2-SALE again, Diamond DA42 Twin Star G-CIKM overshot runway 23 at 10:40 hrs, plus Eurocopter EC155 B1 G-LCPX (19th); Piper PA-46-500TP Meridian 2-COOK (20th); Cessna 421C Golden Eagle G-ISAR (22nd); AgustaWestland AW189 G-MCGT HM Coastguard (24th); King Air 350 G-SRBM (and other dates), Diamond DA62 G-JAAM (f/v) and Cirrus SR-22 G-GCVV (25th)...
Lastly, Piper PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage N181RT (f/v) landed, plus Piper PA-34-220T Seneca V G-GSYS overshot Runway 23 at 11:45 hrs (26th); Alpi Aviation Pioneer 300 G-PION (f/v), Diamond DA62 2-SALE made another visit, plus Gulfstream AA-5B Tiger G-BFXX overflew South to North at 13:00 hrs (27th); Beech C90A King Air N920TT (f/v) and AgustaWestland AW109S Grand New G-MOAL (28th). Taking advantage of decent weather over the bank holiday weekend, a group of light aircraft stopped in at Glasgow on Saturday 29 May, their pilots presumably on a cross country trip. The machines, all making their inaugural visit to the airport, were Cirrus SR22T 2-MCLN (f/v), SOCATA TB-20 Trinidad G-JHMP (f/v), Piper PA-32R-301T Turbo Saratoga SP G-CUBA (f/v) and Jodel DR.1050 Ambassadeur G-ARXT (f/v). Bell 206L-4 Longranger IV G-PTOO, regularly used for pleasure flights from Inchinnan Farm near Bishopton, also called in for a time on the 29th. King Air 200 G-FLYK, plus AW189 G-MCGR of HM Coastguard made two visits on May 31, the first from 01:00 until 02:00 hrs and the second from 07:05 until 07:45 (31st).
Above: Resident Cherokee Warrior II G-BGPL and Reims Cessna F172N Skyhawk G-BGIY, with visiting Cirrus SR22T 2-MCLN (below).
Below: Kingairs outside the Gama hangar on 29 May included Beech C90A N920TT (right) which was making its first appearance at Glasgow Airport...
Joint Warrior / Strike Warrior / Formidable Shield
A Fleet Air Arm Hawk flight lifts off from Prestwick Airport to carry out a simulated attack against the HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier Group.
Glasgow International usually gets additional military traffic when Joint Warrior exercises are running but this wasn`t the case this time round. Considering Strike Warrior based around the Queen Elizabeth Carrier UK Carrier Strike Group, was running at the same time, RAF Lossiemouth was surprisingly also reported to be far quieter than expected. Prestwick saw the majority of related movements with Draken (formerly Cobham) Falcons and Royal Navy Hawks temporarily based, but Leuchars became another major draw for enthusiasts due to visits from US Marine Corps Tilt-Rotor Ospreys and heavy-lift helicopters.
Apart from the Puma pictured below, all my military shots this month were taken at Prestwick. This small selection includes non-exercise related aircraft such as the USAF and Kuwait Air Force C-17s which were passing through. More detailed coverage of the exercise activity, both in the air and on the water, can be found on a dedicated Joint Warrior / Strike Warrior 2021 page.
The first military aircraft to visit Glasgow airport in May was RAF Airbus A400M Atlas C.1 ZM407 callsign `Ascot 474` which overshot Runway 05 three times between 13:15 and 13:40 hours on Tuesday 4th. It was followed by Army Air Corps Britten-Norman BN-2T-4S Defender AL.2 ZG997 on 14 May. This aircraft, on a training sortie from its base at Belfast Aldergrove in Northern Ireland, did no less than 5 touch-and-gos in quick succession, the first being at 12:30 hrs.
Right: On Monday 17 May 2021 RAF Puma XW214 called in at Prestwick so there`s a good chance that this one, shot from my back window as it headed north over the Kilpatrick Hills, is the same aircraft.
Beech Shadow R.MK1 ZZ416 (f/v) callsign `Snake 46` arrive at Glasgow from Waddington at 19:50 hrs on Wednesday 19 May and parked up on Area Juliet, remaining on the ground for around 90 minutes. Individual USAF C-146 Wolfhounds have stopped over at Glasgow International numerous times over the past few years, however, on Thursday 27 May, two landed mid-morning within 15 minutes of one another. C-146A 95-3058 and 11-3097 (f/v) were routing Stateside from Stuttgart in Germany and were only on the ground long enough to refuel which ruled out catching them on my way back from Prestwick later.
The USAF based three KC-135 Stratotankers at Prestwick for a time. Boeing P-8A Poseidon MRA Mk1 ZP805 (above) appeared for some training on 18 May.
Other Aircraft at Prestwick
As previously mentioned, with the various exercises ongoing this month I spent more time down at Prestwick rather than Glasgow. In addition to the military traffic, not all of which were Joint Warrior / Strike Warrior related, a variety of civilian aircraft were photographed. These shots include resident aircraft and those passing through, snapped on various dates.
One of the Norwegian Dreamliners in long term storage at Prestwick, EI-LND, was towed over to the north side of the airfield and swapped for EI-LNG which took its place on the apron outside the Chevron maintenance hangar. The fate of these widebody aircraft is still unclear, although they will not return to service with this carrier. Having jettisoned its global ambitions, Norwegian will now operate a short haul network across the Nordics and to key European destinations. Just 59,431 customers flew with the low-cost carrier in April utilising just ten aircraft, mainly on domestic routes in Norway. This was, however, an increase of approximately 18,000 compared to the same period last year.
Air France Boeing 777-F28 F-GUOC, arriving on a scheduled cargo run from Chicago, is pictured above.
Boeing 737-3Y0(SF) G-JMCM of West Atlantic UK taxis out for takeoff on 18 May.
Loganair Saab 340B G-LGNA had flown down from Glasgow Airport for a spot of crew training on Thursday 13 May.
Veteran US-registered Piper PA-30-160 Twin Comanche N8529Y dates from 1968.
A somewhat unusual visitor to Prestwick was Beechcraft 350C King Air F-ZBGN which is operated by the French Customs service. (Douanes Francaises). The twin-prop is pictured here lining up for departure on the morning of Thursday 27 May after an overnight stop. The aviation branch of French Customs is known as Section Aerienne. Its aviation units are grouped into two directorates: Surveillance Aeromaritime (Maritime Air Surveillance) and Surveillance Aeroterrestre (Land Air Surveillance). The former is divided into Mediterranean, Atlantic and English Channel divisions, plus there`s an overseas unit in Martinique. The DF aircraft are primarily used for air-ground monitoring, pollution patrol and maritime policing.
A look back at the `Daks Over Normandy` Event
Next month will mark the 77th anniversary of D-Day, the 6th of June 1944 being unquestionably one of the most important dates in modern history. This was when almost 160,000 Allied troops stormed the Normandy beaches to start the liberation of Western-Europe. The amphibious assault was preceded by 24.000 soldiers who parachuted in or landed by glider. Forming the core of the airborne armada was a fleet of over 800 Douglas C-47 Skytrains, known as Dakotas to the British. These winged workhorses carried the bulk of the Allied paratroopers and their follow-on support units across the English Channel to help breach Hitler`s Atlantic Wall. To commemorate the occasion and honour those who took part, many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice in the quest to liberate Europe, from 2 to 9 June 2019 Daks Over Normandy saw over thirty DC-3/C-47’s come together in what was the largest gathering of the type since the Second World War.
Most participating planes routed via Duxford before heading to Normandy en masse on the afternoon of 5 June. Spitfires and P-51 Mustang fighters escorted them across the Channel to Caen-Carpiquet airport, the focus for the main commemorations. A real bonus for Scottish enthusiasts unable to make either of the main events was that the North American contingent, comprising around a dozen C-47s from the USA, transited through Prestwick Airport en route to Duxford, with the Ayrshire gathering open to the public on Friday 24 / Saturday 25 May. A dedicated page looks back at the event with historical photos and individual histories on all of the aircraft present at Prestwick: Daks Over Normandy.
Last month, another interesting C-47 visited the UK but remained south of the border. C-47B-5-DK was rolled out of the Douglas plant at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA, in 1943 and allocated to the United States Army Air Force with serial number 43-48859. There is no record of this aircraft participating in the D-Day Landings, nor details of its war service, and it was later transferred to the Armée de l ' Air, then served with the South Vietnam Air Force. By early 1980, it had been placed in the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposal Centre (MASDC) to await its fate. Rather than ending up as scrap, however, it was purchased by Basler Turbo Conversions Llc, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and given the civilian registration N40386. It was converted to a BT-67 and given its current Canadian registration C-GEAJ in 2007. It has since operated in the Antarctic, surviving a serious crash while transporting spare parts for the cross-country vehicles of a British expedition.
These shots of C-GEAJ were taken at Southampton Airport shortly after it arrived there on 26 April 2021. It had been temporarily operating from Humberside Airport while Anglo American had been using the aircraft, which has been fitted with sensitive measuring equipment, to carry out an Airborne Geophysical Survey over the Woodsmith Mine project area in Yorkshire. The intention was to collect geophysical information on the properties of the rocks below ground. The survey involves measuring minor variations in the Earth’s gravitational and magnetic fields. (Photos & images © Steve Moyes / 2020 Aviation).
Glasgow International Airport: Construction & Development
This ultra-wide panoramic view shows the new bridge over the Black Cart Water in situ.
Although I didn`t bother going down to photograph the move and installation, I got a few shots of the preparations.
The ground immediately west of the new bridge is currently being developed for pedestrian and cycle access. A new pedestrian crossing and traffic lights may be on the cards at this location as the cycleway will have to rejoin the busy A8 here due to the area beyond being fenced off to protect the Runway lights.
A pipeline running north through the fields opposite this location is being laid, presumably to connect with the water treatment plant on the south bank of the River Clyde, hidden beyond the trees in these views.
More views of the heavy-lift cranes and bogies in place ready for the bridge move.
The first of several new buildings are steadily taking shape.
Above: This location may become a popular spot from which to view and photograph `23` landings, depending on how the site is developed.
Although the road network is taking shape and buildings are springing up, much of the development area is as yet untouched.
A muddy pool is all that marks the location of the bothy that until fairly recently stood alongside the track leading to Netherton Farm.
Above: The earth embankment opposite the Gama Aviation / Scottish Ambulance Service hangars, is now well and truly gone.
Although it wasn`t well utilised by photographers as a vantage point, I thought it was excellent, especially for shooting planes taxiing past Area Juliet.
The above slideshow features views of the southern end of Abbotsinch Rd between Arran Avenue and Sanderling Road.
Although there`s currently no access to the perimeter fence beside Area Juliet, work on the new footpath is progressing well.
Once the new business park has reached completion this location may be one of the few places in Abbotsinch Rd where photographers can still get views along this stretch, however, any additional buildings on this side of the airfield may not be included in the first phase of construction.
Feeding time for the Young Team!
In the Garden
This wee guy foraging on the lawn one morning this month is a Wheatear, the first I`ve ever seen in my garden. I think it`s a juvenile male as there seems to be the semblance of the giveaway black `bandit` mask developing. Female birds are not so strikingly marked, but expose a diagnostic white rump patch when they fly. Wheatears are very tough and undertake epic migrations. Breeding as far north as Greenland, Canada and Alaska, these birds will relocate to sub-Saharan Africa for the winter, a return journey of up to 18,640 miles!
Through tracking studies, it`s been shown that some birds breeding in Alaska and eastern Canada will travel via Greenland and Ireland before crossing the sea to Portugal or the Azores. This means crossing around 2,000 miles of open ocean nonstop. In the UK, Wheatears tend to inhabit suitable upland terrain rather than urban gardens, but can often be found just inland from open coastal locations after they have made landfall on passage.
The night of 25 / 26 May was largely overcast but the supermoon showed well for a time.
With not much night-time activity, apart from the gulls and local moggies, it`s probably best to wait until autumn before putting food out again.
A pair of Magpies are nesting in one of the tall trees. Both adult birds are very mischievous and seem to enjoy ambushing or harassing the squirrels.