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Education and learning

Visit the Runway Visitor Centre at Manchester Airport with your school group for a fun and educational experience

Manchester Airport Runway Visitor Park

The Runway Visitor Park at Manchester Airport is a unique and educational experience for all ages and operates educational tours for school groups from Early Years to KS4, as well as out of school groups.

The interactive nature of our tours is what truly brings them to life. Children taking part have the opportunity to board real aircraft, whilst learning about the different types of jobs that help the airport run smoothly. Not to forget everyone’s favourite part - hopping into the pilot’s seat.

To enquire about bringing a group to the Runway Visitor Park, please complete our online form

We have linked our tours to areas of the National Curriculum:

Early Years and Foundation Stage:

Click here to view and download the Early Years Tour Pack.

Nursery Tours

Our tours are suitable for children over 3 years old and will last for 1.5 hours. Approximately 45 minutes of the tour is held in the cabin of our DC10 aircraft. Here the children learn about crucial parts of aircraft e.g. the nose, tail, wings, engines, etc. We focus on some of the many jobs at the airport, and there will also be a visit to the flight deck, providing great photo opportunities.

The remaining 45 minutes of the tour takes place mainly outside. We will monitor the movements on the airfield and visit our own on-site aircraft. If time allows, a short classroom session will also be included, where we can carry out an interactive airport-related activity.

Reception Tours

Your tour will last for 2 hours. Approximately 1 hour of the tour is held in the cabin of the DC10 aircraft. Here the children learn about different parts of an aeroplane and we talk about some of the many jobs at the airport. There will also be a visit to the flight deck.

The remaining hour of the tour is mainly outside in the Visitor Park. We will look at the movements on the airfield and visit the static aircraft on site. If time allows, a short classroom session will also be included, where we can carry out an interactive airport-related activity.

KS1 Tours

Click here to view and download the Key Stage 1 Tour Pack

Your tour will last for 2 hours. Approximately 1 hour of the tour will be held in the cabin of our DC10 aircraft. Here the children will be involved in role-play situations, exploring some of the many careers at the airport. We identify the various fundamental parts of an aircraft and look at some examples of different aircraft. The children will also have the opportunity to visit the flight deck, where they can sample the feeling of being a Pilot or Flight Engineer.

The remainder of the tour takes place mainly outside the Visitor Park. We will observe movements on the airfield and visit our own aircraft housed at the Park. A classroom session will also be included, where we will carry out an interactive airport-related activity.

KS2 and KS3 Tours

Click here to view and download the Key Stage 2 Tour Pack.

We have several tour options available to KS2 and KS3 groups, on average a Tour will last for 2 hours.

Standard tour

Approximately 1 hour of the tour will be held in the cabin of the DC10, here the children will be involved in role play, highlighting to them the types of jobs people have at the airport. The children will get to visit the flight deck of the DC10, where they will be shown some of the flight controls to help understand how they affect the operation of the aircraft.

The rest of the tour is outside and focuses on the aircraft that can be seen taking off and landing, in addition to any other vehicles moving around the runway. We will also talk about Manchester Airport itself and then turn our attention to our very own exciting aircraft, which are housed at Runway Visitor Park.

History of aviation themed tour

During this tour we will step back in history to examine the Wright Brothers and their Wright Flyer, through to more recent aircraft such as the Supersonic Concorde, and the awesome A380. There will be plenty of time to take a look at the aircraft we have here at Runway Visitor Park and to understand the historical importance of them.

History of Manchester Airport themed tour

During this tour we will look how the airport has changed since the first airport in Manchester was opened. We will look at how the airport has been used in different ways, and how it has grown and developed. We will also spend some time talking about some of the job roles that are carried out at the airport every day, from Air Traffic Controllers, to our four-legged friends - the sniffer dogs that keep us safe in the airport.

There will be plenty of time to take a look at the aircraft we have here at Runway Visitor Park and to identify the different parts that make them work. This will be in addition to watching the live action on the runway, as aircraft take off and land in front of us.

Environment themed tour

During this tour we will look at the many environmental issues that airports such as Manchester Airport must consider.

We will examine how people get to the airport, the building of Manchester Airport’s second runway and the considerations around the local Flora & Fauna. We will discuss noise pollution and how this is managed, plus issues such as recycling and bird control.

There will be plenty of time to try and spot the Bird Control team on the airfield, as well as getting to see some of the aircraft flying in and out of Manchester Airport.

Add on Tour:

The Terminal 2 tour is an additional option that can be added on to our two-hour tours. Explore the busy Manchester Airport terminal, whilst learning about the departures process and checking in. Experience first hand how vibrant and exciting an airport can be, possibly even inspiring our cabin crew & pilots of the future!

(When added to the two hour tour, an hour’s break for lunch will automatically be included, with the total tour time being 4 hours).

KS4 tours

There are two options for Key Stage 4 tours.

Tour option 1 (2 hours)

This tour takes place at Runway Visitor Park and will involve a one-hour interactive lecture, followed by a tour around the park providing general information about our aircraft, runways, airport buildings, etc.

Tour option 2 (3 hours)

This tour involves a one-hour interactive lecture at Runway Visitor Park and a walking tour of Manchester Airport’s Terminal 1. This tour will not give your group airside access.

The topics for the one-hour interactive lecture are:

  • Handling air passengers
  • Customer service
  • Exploring airports & airlines
  • Manchester Airport IT
  • Manchester Airport as a business
  • Environment

Out of school groups

The standard tour for out of school groups lasts for 2 hours.

One hour will be held in the cabin of the DC10 aircraft, using a variety of visual aids, we look at flight and different types of aircraft. With the children’s assistance, we explore some of the many jobs taking place every day at the airport. There is also an exciting opportunity to visit the flight deck and learn about the flight controls!

The remainder of the tour takes place outside. We will explain some of the various airfield operations, look at aircraft movements and visit some of our own aircraft on site. Included in this section is a brief visit to our classroom, where children will take part in an interactive airport-related activity.

If there are no other activities in the Concorde Hangar, we will take the children to see Concorde to explore this iconic aircraft.

To enquire about bringing a group to the Runway Visitor Park, please complete our online form

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