RAF Valley has 6 runways (RWs) in total (14, 32, 19, 01, 26, 08) although RWs 08 and 26 are not generally used for fixed wing operations due to their length, construction and the proximity of obstructions. RW 14 is classified as the main instrument RW as it is equipped with an Instrument Landing System (ILS) one of 2 primary bad weather recovery aids, the other being the Precision Approach Radar system (PAR).
T here are 2 main areas where aviation enthusiasts gather. The main and well known area is just over the railway bridge close to the main gate and offers a clear and excellent view of operations on the airfield particularly on Runway 19 (R19).
RW 14 demands more intimate knowledge of the area and no fear about reversing along narrow country lanes if confronted by a tractor! This viewing area also carries more responsibility, particularly if your party contains small children as the location is close to the undershoot for the runway and generally you should not linger in this area. You should also notice the presence of an Emergency Vehicle Exit Gate and not obstruct it, or its' approach with your vehicle.
There are another 2 areas that will allow you to watch the aircraft but they require either a drive or quite a walk. RW 32 traffic is best observed from the Rhosneigr area which is about a 9 mile drive from the Station to reach the area close to the Anglesey Golf Club (don't park in their car park, there is a large lay-by half way up the hill into the village which offers an elevated view of the aircraft on approach). There is also access to the beach and sand dunes which offers a nice view of proceedings.
RW 01 - only fit enthusiasts need apply! You are sentenced to a very nice walk along the beach to reach the sand dune area adjacent to the RW 01 threshold which is about the only area to see the aircraft landing. Be advised that this is our most under utilised runway and due to the lack of navigational approach aids we would change to another runway as soon as conditions permit. However, on a nice day, the beach is beautiful and not generally very busy so it can be a rewarding experience in itself.
Helicopter operations are difficult to observe as their training requirements seldom require them to use the airfield. Areas of operation include the Snowdonia mountain area and, closer to home, the Holyhead harbour and Holyhead Mountain areas.