Heathrow Airport Watch is a membership scheme for aviation enthusiasts run by the Met's Aviation Policing Unit.

Its purpose is to help prevent crime and terrorism by asking its members to look out for anything out of the ordinary and to contact us if they see anything suspicious.

The scheme works by providing members with a photo identity card and lanyard to wear, so they can be easily identified by police and security teams at the airport.

Please note: this is not a job role.

Members are not employed by Heathrow Airport Ltd or The Metropolitan Police Service. You can find out more about careers at the Met. 

How to join

We're not taking any new applications at the moment but when we do you'll be able to join online. 


  • Applications received without accompanying scanned identity document and application reference number, emailed to Heathrow Watch, will be automatically withdrawn after one calendar month.

  • The aviation enthusiast membership card is the property of Heathrow police and can be recalled at any time.

  • On your application form please let us know the make, model, colour and registration of the vehicle you'll be using at the airport – and let us know the same details if you change your vehicle.

  • Please be careful where you park at the airport, as unattended vehicles at or near the terminal or perimeter fence or on any double yellow lines may cause a security alert. Membership of the scheme does not give you access to any area not already accessible by members of the public and you'll be subject to the same parking laws and penalties as anyone else.

  • The aviation enthusiast membership card is available to anyone who completes a membership form, passes security checks, produces valid photo ID, such as a photocopy of a passport or driving licence, and pays the £7.50 fee.

  • Police checks will be made on the details you provide and, as a result of this, Heathrow police reserve the right to refuse memberships without explanation.

  • The aviation enthusiasts membership card does not give you access to restricted areas at the airport.

  • If your vehicle is found parked illegally at the airport your enthusiast scheme membership may be withdrawn and you may be prosecuted. Unattended vehicles can be towed away without notice and a fee charged for release and storage.

  • Please carry your aviation enthusiast membership card with you when you visit the airport, as you may be asked to produce it if you are challenged by a police officer, police community support officer or airport security officer. We'll give you a lanyard so that you can wear your aviation enthusiast membership card in plain view. An officer may still decide to carry out further checks and record your details. Please follow any instructions they give you and assist the police and security teams. Please carry a second form of identity, such as a driving licence.

  • If you don't follow instructions given to you by the police or airport security, or if you act in an abusive or insulting way, you'll have your membership of the scheme withdrawn.

  • Please contact us by email if any of your details, such as address, phone number or email address, change after your card has been issued.

  • Please note, airport authorities don't consider plane spotting a reason to be at the airport. Therefore, the police and Heathrow Airport Ltd may enforce the bylaws at their discretion. You can help other plane spotters by being courteous and responsible and reporting any suspicious or illegal behaviour you see at the airport.