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Future Airspace

Find out how Manchester Airport is modernising airspace.

In February 2017 the Department for Transport published ‘Upgrading UK Airspace’  This document reviewed how modern aircraft can use new technology on board for greater efficiency and reduced noise. The current departure routes for aircraft are based on navigation equipment on the ground. Modern aircraft can replace this method of navigation by using satellites. Satellite-based routes enable aircraft to more accurately follow the centre lines of departure routes while maintaining safety. 

The CAA consulted on a process for airports to work with communities when they modernise their airspace. This process was introduced in 2017 and amended in 2018, it is called CAP1616 and it sets out a detailed process that must be used.  This document is published online;

The first stage in the modernisation process is for an airport to issue a Statement of Need to the CAA for them to approve the start of a change process. Manchester Airport did this in March 2019 so that the CAA can give approval for the change. This approval has not yet been given and we do not yet have a date for it however we expect it to be during 2019.  When we have the approval, we will follow the process set out in CAP1616.  The whole process is expected to take 2 years followed by a review process 1 year later. 

When we have approval from the CAA there will be a period of consultation with the community and industry on Design Principals. When the process starts information will be available in printed and soft copy and there will be opportunities to meet airport staff to discuss this in more detail. Updates will be made widely available in the community and through councils. However, if you would like us to contact you directly please email to with the following information and we will add you to our mailing list:

Your name

Your postcode

Your Email address or postal address


Your information will be used solely for the purpose of corresponding with you about Future Airspace and all details will be destroyed at the end of the consultation period. 

There is currently a range of information available on our web pages that you may like to look at to describe how we operate now and to give you information about the traffic on the routes that are near to you. You can find this at

If you'd like us to post you copies then please email us at or telephone 0800 967967 and we will be happy to help you.