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:-

City Airport (Barton) -18th June (10.30)

Always a great day out, especially when its a fully conducted Behind the Scenes Tour!

You will learn about the glorious history of this wonderful airport,plans for the future and of course visit the Tower and Aircraft hangars. Why not make a meal of it and have a bite to eat in the Runway 26 restaurant.

**Extra visit - additional date due demand

Signature Flight Support - Manchester Airport

- TUESDAY 25th June (0930-1330)

Due to demand we have organised a further date for this Behind the Scenes Tour as per below.

In conjunction with Signature Flight Support and Zenith Aviation at Manchester Airport we have organised a special Behind the Scenes tour for 15 TAS Members which will include:- a Conducted Tour of the Signature facility at Manchester including ramp and hangar,Visit on board an Executive Jet with briefing from Pilot, Lunch in the Board room with views over looking the ramp and runway. The cost of this Behind the Scenes Tour will be £15 per person with all monies going to the NHS Christie Foundation Trust.

*Note a Manchester Airport Watch Scheme Pass is required for this Tour.

The first tour advertised (26 June) is now fully booked. We are therefore now accepting bookings for an additional Tour on 25th June. Don’t delay - book today!!

Behind the Scenes with Airport Solutions Ltd

- Wednesday 10th July AND thursday 11th july

The International Aviation Consultancy and Training company “Airport Solutions Ltd” commenced trading 15 years ago. Based in Wilmslow, Cheshire, their team work at airports somewhere around the world each and every day of the year. Be it training Airport Managers from Heathrow to Honolulu or Auditing Airfields in Iraq and Indonesia. Their scope of work and the skill base of their team is vast and respected.

Today we will be visiting the Head Quarters of the team to find out exactly how the business ticks…Many TAS Members have been given previews of some of their interesting “missions” at TAS Social evenings be it :- building and certifying new airports or converting / developing airports in War zones or preparing an airport for a major event such as an Olympic Games,World Cup or International Summit. We ran two trips to their HQ last year and needless to say they were pretty special …and the complimentary business lunch wasn’t bad too!

TAS Members only, an Airport Watch Pass is NOT required, but numbers are strictly limited!

 Lakes Lightning (South Lakes) – Friday 23rd August  - 11.00am

Lakes Lightnings at Spark Bridge in the glorious south Lake District are staging an open house on 23rd August 2019 for TAS Members. Neil and Heather Airey’s collection of Cold War jets – both whole airframes and cockpits – plus many other items of militaria is only normally available on a prior arrangement basis. Here’s a rare chance to come and look at an incredible gathering of hardware.

 Among the gems is Lightning F.1A XM172, once ‘gate guardian’ at Coltishall, and former Fleet Requirements Unit Hunter GA.11 WT711. If your tastes roam to firepower, then there is a pair of awesome 155mm self-propelled guns and other surprises.


 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.