4 July 2023 9.8 Rept – Noise arising from aircraft from Manchester Airport

July 2023 Uploaded on June 29, 2023


4th July 2023



1.1 There appears to be an increase in the level of noise from aircraft flying over Knutsford and there are concerns both that the number of flights has increased and the positioning of aircraft over Pickmere has changed.

1.2 A resident received the following response after raising a complaint with Manchester Airport.

Firstly, thank you for your correspondence, I am very sorry to hear that you have been disturbed.

Like all airports Manchester operates according to the weather conditions, principally the wind direction. In order to ensure a safe take-off and landing, aircraft fly into the wind. The prevailing wind direction in the UK is Westerly, so normally aircraft approach Manchester Airport from the Northeast over Stockport and depart to the Southwest towards Knutsford. During periods of Easterly winds, for safety reasons, the flight patterns are reversed, with aircraft departing to the Northeast and arriving from the Southwest. I have enclosed a link to our Runway Data Sheet with information on our operations and flightpaths. Manchester Airport has been in operation 24/7 since the 1950’s, landing and taking off during the day and night. Our flight paths for arriving and departing aircraft have remained largely unchanged since the 1980’s, with a slight change to the alignment of Runway 2, which opened in 2001.

Unfortunately, we have experienced a very long period of Easterly/North Easterly winds, which has meant, in order to operate safely; we have had to continue in an Easterly direction. When conditions have permitted, we have been able to return briefly to our Westerly operations and will continue to whenever it is safe to do so. We are aware that communities to the Southwest (Knutsford, Plumley, Northwich, Loststock Gralam, Middlewich, Macclesfield and Winsford) are experiencing greater disturbances from arriving aircraft. Areas to the Northeast (Heald Green, Wythenshawe, Cheadle, Cheadle Hulme, Wilmslow, Bramhall, Prestbury, The Heaton’s, Didsbury, Romiley and Chorlton) are experiencing greater disturbances from departing aircraft.

So far this year we have experienced an unusually high proportion of Easterly/North-Easterly winds. From January to mid-June 2023, we have seen that 33% (approx.) of operations have been Easterly. From previous experience, we would expect that long periods of Westerly operations will balance this figure out over the course of a year. Over the last two decades the average split is 80% Westerly to 20% Easterly. Because we are dependent upon the weather conditions, the proportions change and the Easterly split has been as high for the year as 32% (2010) and as low at 16% (2011).

I can confirm that there has been no change to our flight paths or heights, other than the longevity of Easterly operations, so as soon as it’s safe to do so, we always revert to our preferred mode (Westerly Runway 23R/L).

You are able to see the track of all Manchester aircraft movements on specific dates and times by using our self-service investigation tool, WebTrak. You can also log a complaint directly from this system. You can see WebTrak here: I can confirm that I have logged a complaint on your behalf.

Once again, on behalf of Manchester Airport, we are sorry for the inconvenience you have been caused.
Tina Large
Flight Evaluation Executive
MAG Manchester Airport
08000 967 967


2.1 That Council should decide if they need to make representations to Manchester Airport in relation to increased issues In relation to aircraft noise noticed by residents.