Daniel Boyd and Danny Banks report from a hotel perfectly placed to follow the action at London Stansted Airport.

London Stansted Airport is located 30 miles (48km) north-east of central

London and is the capital’s third busiest airport and is ranked fourth in the UK. It has just one runway and in 2012 recorded an annual passenger figure of 17.4 million and 143,000 aircraft movements.

Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair has a major base here and so a large number of its Boeing 737-800s can be seen. Other carriers that frequent the Essex airport include easyJet, airberlin, Germanwings and

Pegasus Airlines, while charter airline Titan

Airways has its headquarters here.

Above: Several Ryanair Boeing 737-800s parked up on the pier nearest the hotel, with another on a remote stand on the right, plus two more on the taxiways. D Banks

Several cargo carriers fiy into Stansted, including ABX Air, Asiana Cargo, FedEx

Express, Martinair Cargo, Silk Way Airlines,

UPS and TNT. Global Supply Systems is based here and has a fleet of Boeing 747-8Fs which are in British Airways World Cargo livery.

The airport also receives a significant number of biz jet movements, which are handled by fixed-base operators (FBOs), including Harrods Aviation, Universal Aviation,

Fay air and Infinite.


Main photo: Atlas Air Boeing 747-8F N850GT wearing Panalpina titles on final approach to Runway 22, taken at 300mm focal length. D Boyd

Left inset: An exterior view of the hotel with a Ryanair Boeing 737-800 climbing out after taking off from Runway 04. D Boyd

Right: An airfield chart showing the airport’s layout. Not for airborne/ operational use, Navtech Aerad

Below: A double room at the Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted

Airport. D Boyd has four floors, with clear views from the three upper levels. From the top floor you get good views of the airfield over the roof of the terminal. To get the best photo-opportunities it’s advisable to book an even-numbered room on that floor between 3020-3050. These are double rooms, twin rooms are available elsewhere in the hotel but do not have good airport views.

As the bedroom windows cannot be opened, you will be photographing through glass; however it is of good quality and should not pose a problem.

If you can book one of the aforementioned rooms, they provide an excellent view of a pier used by Ryanair, and further away are two taxiways and the runway. To photograph the nearest aircraft using the Ryanair pier you will only need 150mm focal length. Some remote stands are directly in front of the room and for the closest of these 120mm is sufficient if shooting a 737-800. For a similar-sized aircraft on the runway lining up for departure or on final approach you’ll want 300mm. Aircraft landing on Runway 22 will pass right to left in front of your room and can be seen from around 1 mile (1.6km) final to touchdown.

The hotel offers a variety of food and drink options: a grill-bar, Italian restaurant, breakfast buffet, and stylish wine bar situated near reception. It also boasts an indoor swimming pool, gym and health club.

With views of the ramp and runway, and easy access to the terminal, the hotel is an ideal for a stopover for the enthusiast and passenger alike.

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