OK then

According to BBC NI, we should all have a gander over on the other side of the runway any time we travel through Aldergrove over the next year or so.

Next time your flight from Belfast International Airport is delayed, find the viewing area and use the telescopes provided to take a good look at the other side of the runway.

You will see a community of around 2,000 people in a vast estate which most of us will never visit. RAF Aldergrove has been there for 90 years, so long that it predates Northern Ireland itself.

But its days are numbered. In April this year the Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth announced that 230 Squadron based at RAF Aldergrove will relocate to RAF Benson in Oxfordshire.

After 2010 the RAF will still train in the skies above Northern Ireland, but they will not be based here.

Many aircraft have come and gone in 90 years.

Anyone watching from the public side of Aldergrove should take their chance now to see the last days of the Puma, and the RAF in Northern Ireland.

What confuses me is this: why have people not been doing this already? The only place in Aldergrove that you can get a minutes peace and quiet is in the observation gallery. It’s the least busy part of the airfield, despite the fact that you get a nice view of the apron, of aircraft landing on 25, and of the RAF bits of the RAF base (the Army bits are a bit out of sight).

So any time I’m sitting at the airport for a spare minute, that’s where I’m to be found. I’ve even been know to drag TLG up there because it’s pretty much the only place you’ll always get a seat. Why? Why isn’t everyone else up there watching the goings on?

Oh well. If everyone else is busy not getting in on it, then there’s more peace and quiet for me to enjoy my aircraft geekery…

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