In the past these have included visits to ATC  Control Towers, on board different aircraft types, visits to Airport Fire Stations, Police Stations, Photo Shoots on an airfield, Aircraft Simulators, Emergency Control Centres, Flight Catering Units, Trips down a Runway, and Aircraft maintenance hangars!

Since its formation (over 45 years ago) The Aviation Society (TAS) has operated trips “Behind the Scenes” at airports for its members.  These unique tours enable our Members to have a detailed look at the workings of an organisation, perhaps not normally seen by the public.


Now Open For Bookings

We now have a number of Manchester ATC Tours open for bookings. Please e mail for details. Please note:  A Manchester Airport Watch Scheme pass is required for the ATC tours.

Places are currently available on the following Tours for TAS Members:- 

Future Tour Dates:-

 Alstom Transport Technology Centre, Widnes (Rolling stock Modernisation Facility) Wednesday 18th September at 1430hrs  

One of the largest centres for train modernisation to ever be built in the UK has been unveiled in Widness by Alstom.

Work is now starting to deliver the €28m contract to repaint the 56-strong fleet of Class 390 ‘tilting’ Pendolino trains being used by Virgin on its West Coast Main Line. The Widnes facility also includes innovative Virtual Reality painting simulators that the team will be trained on and will be used to validate the work.Our vist will explore the whole facility..


Virgin Trains Depot ,Longsight, Manchester  -  25th September 2019 at 1300 hrs 

 TAS Membership is required but Airport Watch Scheme will not be needed.

 Longsight is one of five Alstom Traincare Centres.  Alstom say of the facility that it, "maintains the fleet of 52 tilting Virgin Pendolino trains on the West Coast Main Line”. It houses the control headquarters where the Pendolino full service regime, as well as maintenance operations for other customers, is planned. Under the Pendolino full service regime, Alstom provides 47 trains for service seven days per week, 364 days per year. The fleet covers 16.5 million miles per year. As well as the 12 Pendolino trainsets that arrive at Manchester each night for service, the site receives approximately 26 other trains."  TAS are being welcomed for a look Behind the Scenes at the whle facility.

 Air Traffic Control – Manchester Airport - September / October – Dates TBC

Always fascinating, always popular, always fully booked! Reserve you place on our next tours by putting your name on the list today. We will contact you with the details as soon as the Tour date and time is confirmed.

 Airbus Broughton (Chester) – A320 Wings factory – Thursday 3rd October

This time it’s the turn of the A320 Wings factory at this massive site.  Always a fascinating Tour and very worthwhile.  We normally touch lucky and witness the Beluga or who knows the Beluga XL?

Find out about the history of the Airfield and its contribution to the great Airbus story.  View at close quarters Airbus A320 aircraft wings being built and tested and made ready for transport and flight.

A great day out and a stop off at “Chocks away” for a coffee and bite to eat rounds the trip off nicely.


It's easy! All you have to do is send e-mail to our Behind the Scenes Coordinator – Pam Barker requesting that a place is reserved for you on a particular trip and also providing a contact telephone number.   OR you may attend a TAS Social Evening and make the booking and payment direct.  This is the most efficient and our preferred way for you to book. Remember you have to be a Member of TAS to book so we will need your Membership number on booking.  The e-mail address for booking and any further info is:-


If you are reserving your place in advance via e-mail the booking is not confirmed until a cash payment is made at a TAS Social Evening.  It's easier therefore if you can go along to a Social Evening and make your booking on site.  For persons who are unable to get to the Social Evening, Pam will make mutually convenient arrangements with you via e-mail for the payment. 


The cost of each Behind the Scenes Tour is normally £5 per person.  In some circumstances the host organisation may have an additional standard charge (e.g. entrance fee) – you will be informed of this at the time of booking.


You will receive instructions at the time of booking.  However, as a general rule it will be your responsibility to make your own way to the venue.  If you are able to offer transport to another Member i.e. Car Sharing – Please let Pam know at the time of booking.

Special Requirements?  

Where possible we will inform you in advance of any special arrangements such as the requirement to have a valid Airport Watch Scheme Pass or any Car Parking information at the venue etc. Cameras are normally allowed on all the Behind the Scenes Tours.

How long does the tour last?  

Every tour is unique but as a general rule will last approximately 2 hours.

Can I have a refund if I don't turn up?  

No refunds are given unless the Tour is cancelled by the host organisation  / TAS.  In such circumstances you will be advised in advance.  Please inform Pam if you are unable to attend (having booked) as it would be unfair on the host and group if they were to be delayed as a result of waiting for you to arrive.