Flight Academy at Manchester Airport Runway Visitor Park


Not long before the Easter holidays are upon us and if you’re looking for fun, educational activities to do then I have a great suggestion.  

This time last year, my son’s topic at school was ‘Transportation’. I like to try to find outings we can do that compliment what he’s learning in school, so when I researched places we could visit I was really excited to find that the Manchester Runway Visitor Park would be holding a ‘Flight Academy’ for children (aged 4-7, other age groups also available) during the school holidays.  

The academy is a one and a half hour activity and costs £7 per child. Parents are required to accompany the children. Parking is quite steep – expect to pay between £5 – £12 depending on whether you just do the flight academy activity or decide to stay longer to look around the park, watch Manchester airport’s flights take off or have a spot of lunch.  

Tip: £5 will get you up to two hours parking if you only want to do the flight academy activity.

Our ‘classroom’ for the morning was an old converted Monarch jet, a novel experience in itself. We took our seats in the original airline seating. I think this would be a fantastic introduction to planes for any young children who haven’t yet flown. 


Over the course of the morning, we learned about all about different roles that make an airport function. There were lots of opportunities to dress up like Pilots, Air Traffic Control and an Airport Fire-Fighter.


The lady who took the session also provided plenty of props to try out, like the orange batons that marshals use when guiding planes to their parking spots.  


Everyone took turns visiting the cockpit (or the ‘flight deck’ as we were told it is more commonly referred to in the aviation business) where the kids got plenty of time to sit in the pilot’s seat, dream of flying the plane and touch any of the switches or controls that they wanted.  


There was also time to try out emergency equipment and Noah was in his element demonstrating to me how to use it and what all the little gadgets are for.  

The lady who took the session lead us on a walk to the runway’s viewing platform where we watched planes land and take off. Noah, as usual, had an abundance of questions about what things were and how things worked and the lady was really knowledgeable and informative.  


Afterwards, we decided to stay at the park a bit longer to continue watching the planes and explore some of the retired planes they have there. Noah also let off some steam in the small play park. 


There is a restaurant and café right next to the retired Concorde aircraft. I think, on a sunny day, it would be a great idea to have a picnic while watching the planes flying in. At extra cost, you could also do a tour of the Concorde. 

Before leaving, we also stopped off at the souvenir shop where Noah picked up this sticker book that really appealed to him about Pilots and Aviators to continue his learning at home.  


There’s going to be another Flight Academy for this age group on 2nd April 2018! Book here! Also check out the other flight academies for different age groups, there’s something for kids ages 3 all the way up to 12. 

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