Bio Reading Luton Airport 22nd April


I left home early in the morning to set up at the airport which was my penultimate bio-reading site, 11 out of 12! I was rather nervous, as I might well have been the only one there at such an early time of the day. But thanks to all the plane spotters, I was not alone as some of them had been there earlier than me.

Plane spotting is just another way that people collect things. Most people have collected something during their lives, if that be football cards at school to bizarre objects like toast racks! (one of my friend’s mum has hundreds of them!) . Most avid collectors want, and need to own their desired object. The identification code attached to a plane, car, train or a bus is another way of collecting. To view it is to have it, to possess it and then ultimately collect it. It becomes overwhelming and obsessive, even addictive and the problem is that it will never be completed and could never been achieved as the subject matter is too vast to collate.  

I met someone who had a radio controller that allowed you to listened in on the conversation between the Air Traffic Control Tower and the pilot. It was amazing listening in on the actual conversation that allowed the planes to take off and land.

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I realised that most ‘Tail Watchers’ (term used in America for plane spotters) are seen as weird or odd, but my actions can be seen as even more bizarre than theirs, only to realise that my actions are subsequently making the actions of tail watching seem totally normal in their environment.

Apart from being rather annoyed that I appear odder than them, I also find out that they travel all over the world to far-flung airports and spending the day documenting and photographing the planes, with some rather impressive cameras that I could only guess how much they cost! One tail watcher told me about the aviation apps you can get and airline date websites that you can subscribe to, so that you can up load your images and write reports on your observations. The apps was Flightradar24 ( which was rather amazing, giving you data on the flight speed location / destination and time for arrival, giving you a map with moving location of each air craft and altitude and speed. So exciting and rather scary that this info is out there for anyone to download!

Due to the long winter the growing season is approximately 3 weeks behind stunting plant growth. This has meant that the movement of the plants has been less than expected. However, each site including today’s has shown results and made significant lines on the glass.

Today was a lovely sunny day, but due to the lack of shade I experienced horrible sunburn to my arms and face. As they say though, no pain, no gain!!


I have been surprised to discover that Luton Council, owns the land and infrastructure of the Airport and that they use the money to help fund community projects in and around Luton. Such as the Community trust fund, where every year the Fund gives grants to local charities and non-profit organisations totalling £50,000.

Luton Council alongside other funders and donors, have financially supported the renovation of The Hat Factory, to improve facilities. Once complete will be an amazing venue for the arts and for the inhabitants of Luton.

Keep up the great work, by providing for the local community and the needs of the people!

If you want to help, fly from Luton and put your money back Into the pot to benefit local schemes for local residents.