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There is currently an ongoing national review of UK airspace which includes the airspace around Manchester Airport.  This review is the first review of the air corridors and flight paths that planes use in the skies above the UK for over 40 years.  During this time the technology that airports use for navigation has dramatically changed, as have the size and type of aircraft utilising the air space.   It is believed that the current flight paths no longer best meet the needs of modern planes and technology and a review is required to ensure the most efficient and effective flight paths are used with minimal impact from noise, emissions and impact on the environment. More information about the rational for this can be found in this short video

This review started in March 2019 with the first stage of outreach and consultation.  In this first stage Manchester Airport issued a "Statement of Need" to the CAA to modernise the airspace around Manchester Airport and public consultation sessions were held in the Autumn of 2019.  At that point, it was expected that the full process would take approximately 2 years however, the process was put on hold during the pandemic.  Stage 1 ensured that the public had input into the development of the design principles for the "Design Envelopes" (the large areas that have been identified as being able to accommodate one or more flight paths).

The process recommenced in July 2021 with the start of Stage 2.  During Stage 2,  Manchester Airport are employing specialized airspaces designers to identify the "Design Envelopes" (areas that are able to contain potential new routes and flight paths). They have recently published the first step in identifying new routes.  Detailed with in this document are the potential "Design Envelopes" that will be further refined.  These "Design Envelopes are large swathes of space that could possibly contain a flight path.  They will be subject to much further refinement and reduction until an actual path or paths are determined (based on the design principles).

Whilst this is not a formal consultation stage, Manchester Airport are communicating with stakeholders to obtain early input into the design and planning process.  Warburton PC is represented in these engagement sessions and is keen to ensure the views and input of the residents of Warburton are included.   You can see some of the questions that have already been asked in this Q&A document.

This is critically important as Warburton currently lies under one of the most heavily utilised take-off routes out of Manchester Airport, the SONEX route, which carries a large proportion of all westerley departures (westerley departures make up 80% of all departures from Manchester Airport).  In addition, Warburton is impacted by many of the proposed design envelopes for all departures (westerley and easterly) and all arrivals.  Please get in touch if you would like any further information or to share your views on the plans that impact Warburton.  In addition, further information can also be found at the Future Airspace website or the CAA Portal

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