Im about 15 miles from my nearest international airport and about 10 miles from a smaller airport.
I will be using a handheld receiver aswell.
15 miles is just about non doable with a handheld with a whip. You may get planes, but chances of tower/ground/approach is very slim unless you get some serious height.
I agree, at 15 miles it will be marginal with a handheld whip antenna.
Allenk - thanks on the Moxon info I may try building one of those myself.
They're really great in size and directional qualities. Much smaller than a yagi
I cant find the 2m moxon beam pattern, but here's a 10m one for 27Mhz. It looks similar to me.
The 2m has a low angle for airports, along with other lobes going into the sky, so it's great for ATC.
The only problem with a moxon, is it's fairly directional and it's F:B ratio means the back receives very badly compared to the front, so where ever it's pointed, is where it's going to be REALLY receiving. A vertical will receive well on all sides, but wont be nearly as directional and have as much gain.