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The permitted height of any tall equipment operating in the vicinity of Manchester Airport is governed by a series of horizontal and inclined planes that are collectively named Obstacle Limitation & Instrument Flight Procedure Surfaces – a simplified series of the Obstacle Limitation Surfaces are shown below.
Obstacle Limitation Surfaces (OLS) & Instrument Flight procedure surfaces (IFP) represent the lower limit of the blocks of protected airspace around an aerodrome. They are a complex set of 3-Dimensional surfaces, which extend upwards and outwards from the runway(s). The OLS & IFP’s completely surround the aerodrome.
Anyone who wishes to operate cranes or other tall equipment within 6 kilometres of the Aerodrome boundary and at heights of more than 10 metres Above Ground Level (AGL) or that of surrounding trees or structures must receive prior permission and a Tall Equipment Permit from Manchester Airport, Airfield Operations, Safety & Compliance.
Operators of exceptionally tall equipment (greater than 50m AGL) are advised to consult Manchester Airport if operating within 15km of the Aerodrome Boundary.
Consultation with Manchester Airport
The developer or equipment operator should approach the airport at least 21 days in advance of planned start date so that the proposed operation can be assessed for any impact on the airports protected surfaces.
The applicant will be required to provide the following details to enable an assessment to be made;
Upon receipt of the above information, Manchester Airport, Airfield Operations, Airfield Safety & Compliance will carry out an obstacle assessment to assess the impact on the airports protected surfaces.
Provided that the operational impact is acceptable, a signed-off Tall Equipment Permit will be issued to the applicant.
Approval may be granted subject operating conditions such as mandatory use of a red obstacle light, operations restricted to a certain height or operations dependant on the runway in use. In certain circumstances, where the operation of tall equipment would penetrate one or more of the airports protected surfaces, Manchester Airport may be required to seek further approval from our Instrument flight procedure designer prior to authorising the operation, as there may be implications for Instrument Flight Procedures which flight crews must be made aware of.
Should an Instrument Flight Procedure Assessment be required, Manchester Airport will make the applicant aware of this, and it should be noted that additional costs are likely to be incurred payable by the applicant – as per the Scale of Charges Document found on this page
Failure to notify Manchester Airport at least 21 days in advance of planned start of operations may result in delayed issue of a Tall Equipment Permit.
Code of Practice
The attention of a crane or other tall equipment operator should be brought to the British Standard Institute Code of Practice for the safe use of crane, BS 7121-1:2006: paragraph 12.3.3 which states;
“If a crane is to be used within 6 km of an aerodrome/airfield and its height exceeds 10m or that of surrounding structures or trees, if higher, the appointed person should consult the aerodrome/airfield manager for prior permission to work. Restrictions could be placed on the overall height of the crane and there could be a requirement to fit a warning (obstacle) lights to the top of the crane."
NOTE: The Air Navigation Order  makes it an offence to act recklessly or negligently in a manner likely to endanger aircraft.”
Endangering the Safety of an Aircraft
The use of a crane in a Safeguarded zone, where its operations infringe the airports protected surfaces is a serious offence. Such a breach of statutory duty even without incident, is an offence and legal action may be taken under the Air Navigation Order 2000, Article 63, which states 'A person shall not recklessly or negligently act in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft, or any person therein' (ANO, 2000).
If the use of an obstacle light is listed as an operating condition on a Tall Equipment Permit, it’s use is mandatory for the duration of the crane lift. Should a fault occur with the obstacle light, this must be remedied as soon as possible.
Amendments to previously issued Permits
If during the course of an operation, any of the details recorded on the Tall Equipment Permit change, the developer or equipment operator must inform Manchester Airport at the earliest opportunity. It may be necessary to amend the permit or issue a new one, permits may be amended a maximum of three times, after the third amendment a new permit may be required.
Scale of Charges
MAG safeguarding scale of charges (valid from 31st August 2021)
Tall Equipment Permit Forms.
Below are two Tall Equipment forms named TE01 and TE02.
TE01 - Tall Equipment Permit for projects undertaken on behalf of Manchester Airports Group (MAG) and/or operations on MAG property.
TE02 – All other Tall Equipment Permit applications.
For guidance on correct use of the Tall Equipment Permit forms, please use the contact details below.
Manchester Airport Airfield Safety & Compliance:
Tel: 07565 178 289 / 07958 876 477
Better safe than sorry! Always consult Manchester Airport if you intend to operate tall equipment in the vicinity of the aerodrome. We are happy to assist and cooperate with equipment operators to ensure work can go ahead without presenting a hazard to aircraft.