Environmental Management

Our policies on noise, environment and sustainable development.

Aircraft Noise

Noise Action Plan

The Noise Action Plan is our strategy for managing aircraft noise to minimise impacts on communities living around the airport.

The noise action planning process operates in five-yearly cycles. The aim is for each subsequent Noise Action Plan to build on existing progress to manage the effects of aircraft noise on people. Our 2019-2023 Noise Action Plan is the third for Manchester Airport and is based on noise maps prepared by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) showing the situation at the airport in 2016.

The plan includes specific measures ranging from restricting the use of the noisiest aircraft at night, to offering a sound insulation grant scheme. Following a consultation on the Noise Action Plan with local stakeholders during 2018, it was submitted to and adopted by DEFRA in 2019. Our current Noise Action Plan 2019-2023 is available online and we have also produced a summary of the Plan.

Later this year we will consult stakeholders, including local communities, on proposals for our Noise Action Plan 2024-2028. We will continue to operate within our Noise Action Plan for 2019-2023 until our new Noise Action Plan is published.

The Noise Action Plan, Noise Action Plan Summary and the Supplementary Information are available to download here.

Night Noise Policy

In order to minimise the effects of night time operations, the Airport operates a Night Noise Policy. Our 2020-2024 Night Noise Policy is available here

Noise contours

The noise made by individual aircraft has reduced considerably over time (we describe these trends in our Airlines and Aircraft Fleets data sheet). In measuring noise, particularly over time, there is a potential 'mis-match' between the issue of experiencing many noisy aircraft and an increasing number of quieter aircraft.

For this reason, noise is measured using 'contours'; these map the noise energy over a period of time. Decibels (dB) are logarithmic units and a 3-dB difference in noise level corresponds to a twofold difference in noise energy. The contours are produced independently for us by the Civil Aviation Authority. Here are the latest noise contours for Manchester Airport, from summer 2020.

Like all airports globally, Manchester Airport has seen a significant reduction in traffic, as a result of the pandemic. The 2020, 2021 and 2022 contours are not typical of a normal summer experience at Manchester Airport. Further down this page we have retained the summer 2019 contours that show a more normal experience of operations.

MAN 2022 Summer Leq NGT
MAN 2022 Summer Leq DAY
MAN 2022 Summer Leq 24HR

MAN 2021 Summer Leq NGT
MAN 2021 Summer Leq DAY
MAN 2021 Summer Leq 24HR

MAN 2020 Summer Leq NGT
MAN 2020 Summer Leq DAY
MAN 2020 Summer Leq 24HR

MAN 2019 Summer Leq NGT
MAN 2019 Summer Leq DAY
MAN 2019 Summer Leq 24HR
MAN 2019 Summer n70 DAY
MAN 2019 Summer n70 NGT
MAN 2019 Summer n70 24HR
MAN 2019 Summer n65 DAY
MAN 2019 Summer n60 NGT

Sustainable Development Plan

Our Sustainable Development Plan (SDP) sets out the strategic context for the long-term development of Manchester Airport. The SDP comprises a high level summary and four detailed plans that deal with the Economy and Surface Access, Environment, Community and Land Use. 


Economy and Surface Access

Our support to the North West region's economy and transport connectivity.

Land Use

The land uses and facilities required to support the development of Manchester Airport.


How we engage with local communities about the issues that concern them, and how we can contribute to the social and economic wellbeing of those living around the airport.


What the main environmental issues are and how we approach environmental management and improvement across the site. 

Environment & Energy Policy

Our top-level commitment to environment and energy management. Click here to access our policy.

Ecology and exploring our Runway Trail

We have developed a Runway Trail to create access to the countryside around our site and showcase the extensive Landscape and Habitat Management Area developed in conjunction with our expansion. Please use this Booklet to find out more and explore the countryside.