Air Traffic Control Tower - Norwich Airport 6th May 2014
Click to see photos in the Gallery
Eleven members met near the City of Norwich Aviation Museum and were greeted by one of our guides who would show us around at 12:15. After climbing the stairs to a rest room which faced onto the airport, I noticed a green Boeing 737-9HWER BBJ3 (VP-CEC) that had arrived earlier. We were told about what we would see and were split into two groups. One group would see the lower half where they concentrate on the general movements across 42 ½ miles of aerospace while the other half would see the upper section concentrating on more local movements and ground movements such as final approach, taxiing, vehicles and lighting at the airport before changing over to see the other half.

On the lower half we were shown the monitors for the East Anglia regions aerospace. This included flights for all the surrounding airfields and aircraft which were passing the area. Also various coloured strips were written showing the movements and later stored away. For instance blue for outward flights, and pink for local flights.

From the upper half you could see the City Hall Clock in the background and Postwick using binoculars. When a KLM CityHopper Fokker 70 (PH-WXC) was coming in we waited for it to arrive on Runway 27. Looking around in a 360 degree view we could see Runway 09, the museum, maintenance and storage on both sides, the engine test area, Runway 27, Bristow’s Hanger, the Fire Station, the KLM Engineering and Air Livery Hangers, the Main Terminal, the Saxon Business Centre where some of the oil rig helicopters are kept such as NHV and Dan Copter, Bond helicopters, Klyne and the East Anglian Air Ambulance. On these monitors they showed the taxiways, the main runway and incoming and outgoing flights and a phone for emergencies. Texts would also come through for different flights.

There, were several aircraft at the airport including a Jet 2 Boeing 737 (G-GDFY) outside the KLM Hanger, several F-70’s Dornier 328’s and a Bin Air Sweringen Metro (D-CNAG) by Saxon and the usual helicopters.

Sadly after two hours it was time to go. After thanking our guides we gave them a Club mug as a gift. Just before leaving Scott, one of our guides, said that if we hurried the Thomas Cook Airbus A321-211/W (G-TCDB) painted in its latest livery with a gold heart on the tail was going to be taking off to Majorca for their first summer flight of this year’s season.

Thank you to everyone in the Control Tower and Peter Wood for arranging this interesting and enjoyable trip.

Everyone went back to their cars and went home. I decided to go to the airport and see a few of my friends. I found out that the KLM CityHopper Fokker 70 that we saw earlier was not going back to Amsterdam as it had technical problems. After a cup of coffee in the terminal I went to Runway 09, but as this was quiet, one chap said that most of my friends were probably by the KLM Hangers waiting for an ATR-72 (I-AIDK) to come out in Mistral Air Poste Italiane livery which I was then able to see. Later a Bell Jet Ranger (G-SUET) came in before the ATR-72 took off. Following this I also then went home using the Airport Park & Ride.

Andrew Elphick