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Future Airspace

Find out how Manchester Airport is modernising airspace.

Future Airspace EU

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 here.


You can find out why Airspace change is needed by following this link to a video.


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 gave approval for the change and we will follow the process set out in CAP1616. The whole process is expected to take two years followed by a review process one year later. 


The first ‘Step’ was an opportunity for the community and industry to comment on Design Principles. We produced an information pack or in single colour, and provided opportunities to discuss this process face-to-face at  Outreach sessions in August, September and October to support this ‘Step’. All comments had to be returned to Manchester Airport by Sunday 6th October 2019 and the link to upload data has now closed.


We are now evaluating the feedback we have had, on Design Principles before, before we present these findings to our Stakeholder Reference Group and the CAA. Once the CAA are happy that we have correctly summarised feedback we can move to ‘Stage 2’ and commission airspace designers to construct proposals; based upon these design principles.  Our report will be published on this web site and that of the CAA in late December.


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


*The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of Manchester Airport and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union.