What are Social Evenings?

Social Evenings are where we invite a guest speaker from the “world of aviation” to  come along to the Runway Visitor Park and deliver a presentation on a specific topic to our Members and Guests. The evenings are traditionally held each fortnight on a Monday night.

An average attendance would be between 70 – 130 people – all ages (all sexes)  who simply have a common interest in Aviation. Throughout the year we will try and vary the topics to ensure we cover all aspects of Civil and Military aviation.

Recent Guest Speakers have included:- Red Arrows Team Manager, Concorde Chief Pilot, Former USAF U2 and SR71 Pilot, Director of Manchester Airport, Director of Thomas Cook Airlines, Virgin B747 Pilot, Professional Drone Pilot, Air Accident Investigator, Air Traffic Controller.

The evenings are conducted in a relaxed environment where like minded people are able to meet. Prior to the Guest Speaker commencing their presentation a selection of historical and current photos will be shown on the large screen.

Each evening will normally have a 15 / 20 minute break (half way through) where we usually hold a raffle with a prize associated with the evenings presentation or a gift voucher for the TAS Shop.

Where are they held?

All TAS Social Evenings are held in the Concorde Restaurant at Manchester Airports Runway Visitor Park (RVP). Postcode WA15 8XQ, Tel 0161 489 8300.

The venue has a bar and is located alongside the iconic Concorde G-BOAC.  Entry to the Social Evenings is normally through the TAS Shop and the Concorde Hangar – (Yes, you walk under Concorde).  We guarantee a fantastic evening, where everyone is made very welcome…and great views of the aircraft can be had regardless of the weather!

How much does it cost?

Admission (Pay on the door) to the Social Evenings is just £2.00 for TAS members with guests being admitted for £3.50.

What time and where do I park?

The gates to the Runway Visitor Park open at 19.00hrs for persons attending the meetings and the presentations commence at 20.00hrs and usually end at 22.00hrs.

Entrance and Car parking to the Runway Visitor Park is free after 19.00hrs to all persons attending TAS Social Evenings.  If required the Car Park attendant located at the “gate house” will advise you with respect to the Car Parking arrangements for that evening. Drive through, park the car and make your way to the event in the Concorde Restaurant.

Ideas for “Guest Speakers” at future events are always welcome. Please contact our Social Evening organiser:-   peter@airportsol.com

 Future Social Evenings – Dates for the diary..

11th November         Rad Taylor – Operations Director – Manchester Airport

Tonight we welcome back Rad Taylor the Operations Director of Manchester Airport. As usual Rad will be giving us his annual review of events at the airport from an Operational perspective. This will include the opening of the First Phase of the Transformation project at T2, a considerable amount of Airfield works, the implementation of “Operation Matterhorn” following the collapse of Thomas Cook, some long term residents in the shape of B737 MAX 8’s and of course the back ground behind any incidents on the airfield plus some plans for the future. Always a fascinating evening with plenty of time allocated for questions.

25th November   Steve Balfour – Air Traffic Control Up date

Always a pleasure to welcome back Steve Balfour – TAS Committee Member and former Manchester Air Traffic Controller who keeps his finger on the pulse with respect to Air Traffic matters not only at MAN but within the UK. Steve’s evenings never cease to entertain us as he will inevitably digress to cover a huge range of topics which will keep the audience glued to their seats and entertained with his extensive knowledge of all things aviation

9th December       Steve Grimshaw and Simon Wilson

From Skegness to L.A. – Aviation Photography from above

Tonight’s presenters Steve Grimshaw & Simon Willson are both longstanding TAS members and keen aviation photographers, their work having featured in numerous aviation publications, plus they are both microlight pilots.

Their passion for flying and photography has taken them worldwide but tonight they will concentrate on the UK and the USA with the first half of the presentation containing aerial shots from their microlights over the UK including Bruntingthorpe, Caernarfon, the Lake District and Skegness to name but a few, plus some air to air photography and even a flight across the English Channel.

The second half of the presentation will focus on aerial photography from helicopters and light aircraft over airports and boneyards in the USA including Victorville, Mojave, Davis Montham, Pinal Air Park and of course LAX; plus a few shots from Rainbow Canyon (the USA’s equivalent to the Mach Loop).

So, something for everyone - sit back, relax and enjoy some stunning photographic images taken from above.    

23rd December       TAS Christmas Social and Raffle / An evening with Airport Solutions

Without doubt one of our most popular evenings of the year. Where everyone is invited to sit back and have some fun with the Aviation Consultants from Airport Solutions who will be telling us some wonderful tales from their adventures around the world in the past year. Civil Airports, Military Airports usually covering all continents…But which ones will be featured this year?. That will be for you to guess as you try and answer that famous question..  Where am I now? If you get it right you will get a prize, if you get it wrong you may also get a prize! There are hundreds of Christmas Presents to be given out and as we say you will be unlucky to go home without one!!

 As usual we will be providing some complimentary pre flight “Christmas nibbles” in the TAS Shop from 1900 hrs and showing a few “interesting and amusing” aviation video’s in the Concorde Restaurant between 1930hrs and 2000hrs.

If that wasn’t enough tonight is the night we have our incredible Christmas Draw when some lucky people will be going home with an array of prizes including our Star prize of a trip in a Lear Jet!

They don’t get much better than that!! – We look forward to seeing you for an evening of Festive Fun on Monday 23rd December…


13th January 2020 The Royal International Air Tattoo - Delivering the World’s Largest Military Airshow - Ian Revell FRAeS

A look behind the scenes at the planning and delivery of the annual RIAT airshow held at RAF Fairford. Planning for the show involves cooperation and coordination with many agencies and the team is constantly challenged to deliver a safe and entertaining display. The talk will detail some of these challenges and give an insight into how the operation works.

Ian Revell is currently an ATC Watch Manager at Manchester Airport and for over 30 years has been involved with the Royal International Air Tattoo as a Controller and Manager of the Volunteer Air Traffic Control Team. In his role as SATCO, Ian has been involved in planning and delivering the airshow working as part of the larger volunteer RIAT team. An avid Aviation Enthusiast, Ian holds a PPL and also works with the Royal Air Force Air Cadets, heading the Qualified Aerospace Instructors Course, one of the premier courses available to Air Cadets

Future Guest Speakers

With a Social Evening taking place almost every two weeks throughout the year (that’s over 20 Guest Speakers per year!) its quite a challenge to organise an interesting and varied programme.  As such, if you would like to offer your services as a Guest Speaker, know someone or perhaps have seen someone who could be a potential Guest Speaker or have ideas for Guest Speakers – Please drop our Social Evening Organiser (Peter Hampson) an e mail :- peter@airportsol.com  Your help and support would be very much appreciated.